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Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find a list of our Frequently Asked Questions.

Please contact the International Programs Office at ipomail@isu.edu or (208) 282-4320 with any additional questions or concerns. We’re happy to help!

Study Abroad

Who can study abroad?

In order to study abroad, you must:

  • Be an ISU student with sophomore standing or higher at the time of application
  • Have attended ISU for at least one semester
  • Have a desire to explore a new culture and grow as a person
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. (Kansai Gaidai requires a 3.0 or higher GPA)
  • Submit a $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Submit all required forms found under “Study Abroad” on our Forms page

How much does it cost to study abroad?

Costs for one semester range from the cost of attending ISU at in-state tuition and paying for a double room, meal plan and airfare, and increases from there. You should budget for a minimum amount of $8,000 to $10,000 for one semester.

Where can I study abroad?

Most anywhere in the world. See our Find a Program page for more information.

Can I use my Financial Aid to study abroad?

Yes! See your financial aid advisor for complete details.

Are Scholarships available for study abroad?

There are many scholarship opportunities out there if you take the time to seek them out. See our Funding Study Abroad page for more information.

Will Study Abroad delay my graduation?

Not if you plan carefully and work with your academic advisor.

How do my credits transfer when I study abroad?

Students must obtain course approval before beginning their study abroad program. Credits are approved by the credit granting department on campus. For example, business classes taken abroad must be approved by the College of Business by completing the Transfer Credit Application.

If your credits are pre-approved by each department, there are no surprises when you return.

Approved ISU study abroad programs are counted as resident credit.

Faculty & Scholars

What is the 5 year rule?

Previously, J-1 Research Scholars had a maximum stay in the U.S. of 3 years. Now they can stay up to 5 consecutive years.

The 5 year period has been described as a "use it or lose it" window of time.

What is the 24 month bar?

The 24 month bar is when a research scholar or professor completes his or her J-1 program, s/he is not eligible for another period of stay as a J-1 research scholar or professor until two years have passed. This bar is also applicable to J-2 dependents.

Can I change jobs and have a new J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar visa with a new employer within the 5 years?


If a J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar leaves one employer and moves to a new job with another University (that also sponsors J-1 visas) s/he can transfer to the new employer.

These scholars may keep extending and changing employers via the J-1 transfer process for up to 5 years; however, there can not be a gap of time between employers. Scholars need to communicate to both employers their intents to remain in the U.S. on a J visa.

What if I need to leave the U.S. for a meeting or conference – will I have to wait 24 months before I can return?


As long as the J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar continues with the original Idaho State affiliation, short stays outside the U.S. are permitted and do not constitute a completion of the J program.

I have a J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar visa that is only valid for one year. I may stay longer if the grant is renewed for one more year. Will I have to go home for 24 months or can I extend my J visa for a second year?

J-1 Professor/ Research Scholars may extend their stay for up to 5 years as long as there is no gap of time and the IPO receives the request of extension before the expiration of the current DS-2019.

Are the 2 year home residence requirement and the 24 month bar the same thing?

No. As mentioned in above, the 24 month bar only affects scholars who have had in the past the J-1 Professor/ Research Scholar visa, and who wish to use it again.

The two-year home residence requirement can be an issue for any J visa holder – not just those who have had the J-1 Professor/Research Scholar category.