Carnegie Mellon University

Congratulations - you have been admitted to the interACT exchange program at Carnegie Mellon University! There is a lot to do before your trip can start and we hope the following information and guideline will give you a first overview and a helping hand!

The interACT team is your contact: Whenever you have any questions, whenever something is unclear, do not hesitate to contact us (Margit Rödder, phone: +49 721 608 48676).

To Do

  1. Make an appointment with Margit Rödder, who will inform you about the first steps. She will bring you in contact with 
  2. You will need to send several documents to Julie (see detailed list, of what you have to do: "Form DS-2019"): a copy of your passport, CLICS confirmation letter (original by post), a bank statement (original by post) and you have to fill in a special form (provided by Julie or Margit). After CMU has received the documents for the visa CMU will send your comments to its Office of International Education (OIE).
  3. OIE will prepare the DS-2019 and Fedex it to your address.
  4. After having received the DS-2019, request an appointment with your local consulate (it sometimes takes 3 weeks to get an appointment).
  5. You will have a series of proofs, forms, payments and other documents to prepare for your appointment.
  6. SEVIS number.
  7. Appointment with consulate.
  8. Please contact Julie before you will arrive in Pittsburgh and make an appointment with her. Julie is happy to welcome you in person at CMU!!! Furthermore, you have to attend the OIE foreign Scholar education class the first Thursday that you are at Carnegie Mellon University.
  9. Make sure your information is up to date, before sending your information, due to the often changing requirements.


The J1-Visa (Exchange Visitor)

For your study at CMU Pittsburgh or CMU Silicon Valley you need a so called J1-visa. You should start the application process at least 3 months (better 4 months) before your stay at CMU.

At first it is very important for CMU to know the intended period (from DD/MM/YY to DD/MM/YY) of your stay. You should have an idea of the start date at least (it would be perfect, if you could give us already the exact beginning and end date of your stay). You can enter the US 30 days prior to it, but the start date has to be at least 60 days after CMU receives your information for the DS-2019 application.

The broad purpose of the Exchange Visitor J1 program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Exchange programs exist in a variety of formats and permit visitors to come to this country for a wide range of activities. Carnegie Mellon's Exchange Visitor program provides opportunities for study, research, and teaching. Annually, Carnegie Mellon welcomes about 400 visiting researchers and professors from over 40 departments to the campus community.


Attending the OIE Orientation Session

The OIE orientation session is mandatory for new and returning exchange students!

Please call the Office of International Education (OIE) receptionist at (412) 268-5231 or x85231 (if you are calling from on campus) to arrange to attend the next mini-orientation session for all new scholars.

The orientation sessions are intended to assist visiting scholars in J, H, F-1 Optional Practical Training, and other immigration/visa categories. Be sure to bring

  • your passport,
  • visa,
  • I-94 departure card
  • and DS-2019 form or any other immigration paperwork with you.

Spouses are also welcome. Details on the regular time and location follow:

Office of International Education (OIE), Carnegie Mellon University

The orientation session will be helpful for new scholars and visitors. In addition to immigration and visa matters, practical matters such as the social security number application, health and health insurance, housing, banking, transportation, etc. will also be discussed.