Exchange Visitor Programs
Pacific University has four campuses located in the state of Oregon. Exchange visitors studying in Pacific University's undergraduate program will live and attend classes at our Forest Grove campus. Pacific’s historic Forest Grove campus is located on the outer edge of the Portland metropolitan area (35 kilometers from the city center).
The campus is park-like, with many spectacular trees, and features older buildings from the late 19th century, buildings from the mid-20th century, and modern buildings that have won awards for their environmentally sustainable design. Restaurants, grocery stores, banks, a post office, and entertainment options such as movies and live theater are all within walking distance of campus or a short bicycle ride away.
The Portland metropolitan area is considered a progressive and environmentally-conscious community, and shares the relaxed lifestyle of the West Coast. The total metropolitan Portland area has a population of around 2 million people, making it the 19th largest in the USA.
Exchange Visitors who meet our English proficiency requirement can enroll in our integrated program for either one semester or one full academic year.
- Note: Exchange visitors who do not meet our English proficiency requirement may instead study in our intensive English Language Institute (ELI).
Integrated Program Course Calendar
Fall Semester — late August to mid-December
Spring Semester — late January to mid-May
Full Academic Year — late August to mid-May, (holiday break from mid-December to late January)
Regular courses from across the undergraduate curriculum are available to exchange visitors with the necessary previous academic preparation.
Exchange visitors at Pacific must be engaged full-time in a prescribed course of study to be in compliance with U.S. government regulations. Typically, that will mean an exchange visitor will enroll in a minimum of 12 credits and a maximum of 18 credits at Pacific. Exact number of credits will vary depending on the courses selected and any exchange visitor's home institution requirements.
New exchange visitors will be assisted with selecting and registering for classes by the Director of International Programs and the Director of the Advising Center at Pacific University. During the first two weeks of each semester, exchange visitors may change their course registration without academic penalty.
Living with other students as part of the university community fully immerses exchange visitors in the U.S. university experience. Semester and academic year exchange visitors will typically be assigned a room in one of Pacific’s seven co-educational campus residence halls (dormitories). When possible, U.S. students are assigned as roommates for exchange visitors, as sharing daily life is one of the best means to facilitate cultural exchange.
Pacific's residence halls are all owned by the university, and offer laundry facilities, recreational equipment, and lounge spaces. Residence Hall buildings are conveniently located just a short walk from the classroom buildings and the campus dining center. Rooms and apartments are fully furnished, and Office of Residence Life staff members provide 24-hour support for on-campus residents on all days the university is officially open.
The Forest Grove campus has a variety of dining locations. Dining options include The Grove dining room for full meals, a Starbucks café, and the P.O.D. convenience store with snacks and quick meals. The university meal plans can be used in all dining locations, and anyone without a meal plan can make cash purchases.
Exchange visitors assigned to standard university housing that does not include a full in-room kitchen must have a university meal plan. Exchange visitors assigned to apartment-style university housing with a full in-room kitchen (generally reserved for older students) may choose to have a meal plan, self-cater by purchasing food at local stores and cooking, or a combination of both.
Social Activities & Excursions
Exchange visitors are encouraged to participate in the university's clubs, sports, and activity programs. Pacific University sponsors a variety of lectures, concerts, dances, movies, and educational events on campus that are open to all exchange visitors at no additional cost. The university's Outdoor Pursuits office sponsors off-campus recreational activities such as hikes, kayaking, rock climbing, camping, and skiing/snowboarding at low cost.
A three-day break in November, a break in December/January and a one-week break in March are all excellent opportunities to explore the United States. Exchange visitors may enter the United States up to 30 days before their official program start date and may remain up to 30 days after the completion of their program. These “grace periods” are good opportunities for additional travel.
The Forest Grove campus is also served by a local bus line that connects to the metropolitan area train system, which runs directly to major shopping centers and Portland International Airport. Exchange visitors who are licensed drivers can also sign up for the campus car-share program.
On selected dates, Pacific University will provide incoming exchange visitors transportation from Portland International Airport (PDX) to campus (during residence hall check-in hours only). Specific information on each semester's pick-up service dates, times, and reservation process will be provided to incoming exchange visitors several weeks prior to arrival.
If you will arrive in Portland on a date when the arrival service is not available, or when campus housing is not open, you will need to make your own transportation arrangements and reserve a hotel room. Staff in the Office of International Programs may be able to suggest reliable transportation options and hotels that fit your budget. Please contact us for options and suggestions.
All new exchange students are required to attend an orientation program before classes begin. The orientation will consist of two parts; a separate session for international students and visitors, and a combined session with US students who are joining the university for the first time. The program is designed to provide exchange visitors with information on important academic topics and immigration procedures as well as basic understanding of U.S. daily life. This program will include shopping trips and the opportunity to open bank accounts and purchase cell phones.
Healthcare & Insurance
Pacific University provides exchange visitors with both an on-campus health clinic and a counseling center that focuses on student support and mental health concerns. All appointments at the Health Center and 10 appointments at the Counseling Center are free of charge. Immunizations or medication provided at the Health Center will incur charges.
All exchange visitors are required to have health insurance per U.S. law. This requirement can be met by the purchase of Pacific’s own health insurance policy, or exchange visitors can purchase insurance that meets all U.S. government requirements from the company of their choice. As the U.S. government requirements are very strict, we recommend that any visitor planning to purchase health insurance consult with staff at Pacific’s Office of International Programs before making a non-refundable purchase.
All exchange visitors are required to show that they have been immunized for (or are immune to) measles. Some exchange visitors may be required to be tested for Tuberculosis (TB). You will receive more information, and the immunization form, following your acceptance.
Fees & Payments
The following information about fees and payments is very important:
- Exchange visitor billing is done according to an agreement between the exchange visitor's home university and Pacific University. Some exchanges will have participants pay their home university directly for room and/or board. Other exchanges will have participants make these payments directly to Pacific University. Please discuss the specifics of your exchange with your home university.
- Exchange billing agreements do not cover personal expenses like textbooks, library fines, housing fines, Outdoor Pursuit trip fees, health center medication/testing fees, or other similar costs.
- Billing is done on a semester basis. Students can choose to pay their entire semester bill at the beginning of each semester, or to request a monthly payment plan for a small additional fee.
- Pacific University only accepts payments in U.S. dollars. We readily accept cash, traveler’s checks, personal checks, money orders, and debit card payments. Wire transfers and credit card payments are accepted, but there will be a fee assessed. (Visa, American Express, Discover, and Mastercard only)
Estimated Personal Expenses
The cost of living in the Forest Grove area is inexpensive compared to many places in the United States. All exchange visitors should budget at least $1000 of personal spending money for a one-semester visit, and another $475 for textbooks. This estimate does not include travel or insurance expenses.
If early withdrawal occurs, refunds of any housing cost, meal plan, or other expense (insurance, supplemental tuition) will be according to standard university policies.
Incoming exchange visitors will need to purchase textbooks for each class they attend. A specialized bookstore on campus both rents and sells required books, or you may purchase the books online. After the completion of each semester, typically students will sell or return their rented books to help recover some of the purchase cost. Note: University libraries in the US do not customarily have copies of textbooks. It is important to be prepared to purchase or rent your books.
The university has an optional condensed term called Winter II that occurs in mid-January. Class during this term is delivered on an “intensive” schedule (3-5 hours per day). Exchange visitors who will attend Pacific for a full academic year may take a single class during this period for no additional tuition cost, although there may be an additional charge for housing and meals. As this term is optional, full academic year exchange visitors may instead choose to take an extended vacation until late January. Please note that Pacific will be making changes to its academic calendar in the 2019-20 academic year, when the Winter II term will no longer be offered.