International Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ's

Q1. Does UNO offer English as a Second Language (ESL)?

The Intensive English Language Program is a non-credit full time program designed especially for non-native English speakers who plan to study at UNO or another American university or who wish to improve their English for personal or professional reasons. Students may be conditionally admitted to UNO based upon successful completion of the IELP program if they do not yet meet UNO’s admission standards for English.
For more information, visit
Q2. What is UNO's academic calendar?

UNO divides the academic calendar into semesters. The Fall semester begins in late August and ends in early December; the Spring semester begins mid-January and ends mid-May. The Summer session begins in June and runs through July.
Q3. What is the grading system at UNO?

At the end of each semester your instructor will evaluate your work and award a letter grade of A (excellent), B (good), C (fair), D (minimally passing) or F (fail).
Q4. Are computers available for student use?

There are computer labs available across campus.
Q5. Are there extracurricular activities available on campus?

There are always a wide range of activities, from intramural sports to guest speakers, available on-campus. The Campus Activities Office offers current listings. There are also a number of community publications which discuss what is going on in the city and surrounding areas.
Q6. Once I arrive on campus, will there be someone to address my questions and concerns?

Absolutely! Experienced staff from the Office of International Students and Scholars are ready and eager to assist you in becoming familiar with the city, campus and American way of life. They will also assist you with any immigration questions or problems and offer support in cross-cultural adjustment, family and financial concerns, academic matters, and other personal concerns.
Q7. Are there organizations specifically designed for International Students?

Yes, there are both campus and local community organizations.
View complete listing of UNO organizations

Q8. Is there an on-campus library?

Yes, UNO's Earl K. Long Library is the heart of the academic community. It's collection of scholarly and professional books and periodicals now total over 550,000 cataloged printed volumes, 250,000 uncatalogued governmental documents, and over one million pieces of micro-format. It is also the home of the Privateer Enrollment Center.
Visit the PEC Website


Q9. Will the Admissions Office know how to evaluate my credentials?

Official high school transcripts must be sent directly from the school. The transcripts must be in the original language, accompanied by an official English translation. International college/university transcripts must be evaluated by one of the NACES Evaluation Agencies.
Q10. When will I receive my I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility?

All students who meet UNO's admission requirements and have completed, to our satisfaction, the Statement of Financial Support will be mailed an I-20 or DS-2019 with their admission letter.
Q11. Must I be enrolled in full-time study?

Yes. Immigration regulations require students in F and J visa to enroll in at least 12 credits for undergraduate career and at least 9 credits for graduate career each semester.
Q12. Do I need to submit a course syllabus or school catalog describing the content of my course work and examinations?

A catalog or syllabus would be of great help in the evaluation of college records for transfer students. Please bring your catalog or syllabi with you to UNO to aid in the transfer of your college credit.

Funding Opportunities

Q13. Are financial aid programs or scholarships available to international students?

Scholarships are available to international students but not the Federal Financial Aids.
Visit Aid and Scholarships for more information
Contact for more information
Q14. When are the University fees paid?

In general, fees are paid after registering for classes. In some cases, UNO may require a tuition deposit prior to a student arriving on campus.
Visit for information about fees and payment deadlines

Q15. Can I work while I attend school?

Yes, students may work on campus up to 20 hours a week. However, campus employment is difficult to find. Permission to work off campus must be granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and is given in only specific situations.
Q16. Will I be able to establish a checking and savings account in New Orleans?

Yes. There are a number of local banks which provide these services as well as a credit union on campus. Students may request a bank letter from the Office of International Students and Scholars to facilitate opening an account.

Housing & Health Services

Q17. Are students required to live on campus?

A University of Louisiana System policy requires that all unmarried, full-time undergraduate students regardless of age or emancipation status, live in campus residence halls as long as space is available.
See if you are exempt from this policy
Q18. Are all international students required to buy health insurance?

All international students in F and J status are required to purchase health insurance and are automatically billed for these charges each semester. For information on health insurance requirements and the process to request a waiver of the insurance fee, see the OISS website.
Request waiver from OISS
Q19. Who is required to show proof of immunization?

Louisiana law requires new UNO students to provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, and tetanus. If you were born before 1957 you need only satisfy the diphtheria-tetanus requirement. Although this information is not required for admission to UNO, it must be submitted to the Office of Student Health Services before registering for classes.
Q20. Do I have to purchase a meal plan if I live in Pontchartrain Hall?

Yes. (A meal plan purchase is not required if you live in Privateer Place).