Skip to main content

International Education

Exchange Program Information

Here you'll find all the necessary information for your exchange program at Bentley. Click the drop-down icons next to each section to view the information. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Incoming Exchange Coordinator, Charlie Deichmann:

2023-24 Fact Sheet

Application Process

How To Apply


  • Your home school must nominate you for an exchange at Bentley. Bentley has no GPA, language, or other requirements for exchange students. Please speak to your home school advisor to learn what requirements they have for their students to participate in an exchange at Bentley.

Online Application

  • Once nominated, you will receive an email with login instructions and a link to access Bentley's online application portal: BentleyAbroad. This information is only available to nominated students. See the section below if you have issues accessing this application.
  • Once you log in, you will be asked to provide profile information (address, contact information, and personal data) and to upload the following files:
    • a current transcript from your home institution, in English, along with a list of courses you're currently enrolled in
    • a photocopy of your passport (must be valid at least 6 months after the end of your program)
    • a digital ID photo
    • specific financial documents for your J-1 visa application. Detailed instructions for these documents are included as part of your online application in BentleyAbroad.

J-1 Visa Application

  • Once you submit the documents in the online application, Bentley will be able to create your DS-2019 immigration form for your student visa. We will mail your DS-2019 and an official acceptance letter to your home school's international office for you to pick up and use in your J-1 visa application.
  • Exchange students are responsible for applying for their J-1 student visa on their own; once you receive your DS-2019 from Bentley, we cannot assist further with the process. If you have questions about applying for your visa, please contact your home school's international office.
  • You must apply for a J-1 student visa. You will not be accepted for an F visa or any other form of student visa. Please contact the embassy directly if you accidentally apply for the wrong type of visa.


  • Once your immigration documents are complete, you are considered fully registered for your exchange at Bentley. Over the following weeks/months, you will receive detailed instructions for how to register for courses, apply for on-campus housing, and upload proof of immunizations to the Student Health Portal. You will also receive information about arrival, orientation, and health insurance during this time. See the sections below to learn more about these processes.
BentleyAbroad Online Application System

BentleyAbroad is our study abroad application software. After you are nominated by your home school, you will receive an email with login instructions and a link to access Bentley's online application. You will continue to use this system throughout your application process and during your time at Bentley.

If you never received your login email, please contact:

If you have issues logging in to your account after it's been set up, try the following steps to resolve it:

  1. Make sure you're logging in with the "Incoming Exchange to Bentley" link, not the regular "Login" link. If you're not sure which one you clicked, go back to the home page and try again.
  2. Always use the original email you used to set up your account (usually your home school email). You must continue to use this email to access your BentleyAbroad account, even after you receive your email.
  3. Try switching to a different internet browser (for example, use Safari instead of Google Chome).
  4. Restart your computer and try again.
  5. Sometimes the BentleyAbroad system goes offline. In this case, please wait a little while and try to login again.

If you've tried all these steps and still cannot log in, you can request a password reset with the link on the login page.


All Bentley exchange students will be responsible for the following costs during their time at Bentley. Tuition is waived as part of the exchange agreement with the home university.

 2023-24 costs (estimated)


One semester

Two semesters

On-campus housing

(depending on
room assignment)

(depending on
room assignment)

Meal plan
(if applicable - see housing details)



Student Activities fee



Health Insurance

$985 (fall) or $1,357 (spring)


Books (estimated)



Personal (estimated)



You will receive an invoice via email (an "e-bill") several weeks before you arrive on Bentley's campus. This email will include a "due date" to pay your invoice; the due date will probably be a few weeks after you arrive at Bentley. 

Since final costs will vary based on your room assignment and meal plan, please do NOT pay your balance before arriving at Bentley. Once you have been placed in your actual dorm room, Student Financial Services will generate an email to your Bentley email address notifying you that your e-bill is ready to be viewed. The balance must be settled in full within the first two weeks of the semester. We hope that you will find the wire transfer method through our Flywire system easy and cost effective. Additional information about Flywire and other payment options is located on the Student Financial Services website.

Program Dates

Note: all dates on this page are estimates and are intended for planning purposes only! Never book flights or make other arrangements until you receive an official arrival date from your incoming exchange advisor.

Fall 2023

Arrival Date:

Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023

Mandatory Orientation:

Thursday, Aug. 31 - Sept. 4, 2023

Labor Day (no classes):

Monday, Sept. 4, 2023

Classes Begin:

Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023

October Break (no classes):

Monday, Oct. 9 - Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023

Thanksgiving Break (no classes):

Wednesday, November 22 - Friday, Nov. 24, 2023

Final Exams:

Wednesday, Dec. 13 - Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023

Spring 2024

Arrive On:

Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024

Mandatory Orientation:

Thursday, Jan. 18 - Jan. 21, 2024

Classes Begin:

Monday, Jan. 22, 2024

Spring Break:

Monday, Mar. 11 - Friday, Mar. 15, 2024

Patriots Day (only evening classes held):

Monday, Apr. 15, 2024

Final Exams:

Thursday, May 2 - Wednesday, May 8, 2024


Exchange Program Information

Arrival and Orientation

Students are required to be present for orientation and through the completion of all exams at the end of the semester. Students arriving early will not have access to on-campus housing until the specified move-in date. Students arriving before the specified arrival dates will be required to find temporary accommodation in the area. Similarly, students cannot remain at Bentley beyond the return date, as the dormitories close. Your J-1 student visa will allow you to arrive in the US within 30 days of the first day of class, NOT within 30 days of Orientation.


Arrival Information


When making flight arrangements, please remember that Logan International Airport in Boston, MA, is the closest airport to Bentley. Unfortunately, you may not arrive in the dorms before your official arrival date or stay later. If you wish to spend time in Boston before or after your exchange period, you should find a hotel or other accommodation. Unfortunately, Bentley is unable to accommodate storage requests for any student belongings.

When must I arrive at Bentley?

All exchange students must arrive at Bentley on the designated arrival date/in time for the start of the mandatory First Week/Orientation. Please try to arrive during business hours (9 am - 5 pm). Please link to Dates and Arrival Information on our Exchange Student website for important dates.

When must I leave Bentley?

All exchange students must depart from Bentley’s campus at the end of the semester, after completing finals. (There is a small chance that you may leave earlier if you wish to do so; this possible option depends on your finals schedule, which is announced about one month before the end of each semester. If you want the option of departing before the final date posted for departure, please do NOT book travel before your finals schedule is announced. 

Housing and Meal Plans

At most US colleges and universities, including Bentley, dormitory living is an integral part of the student experience. So, if you want a true US student experience, we recommend that you embrace this living style for the semester you are with us!

For specific information about Bentley’s living options, please see the Residential Center website.

Bentley offers many different housing facilities. Full descriptions of each housing facility can be found on the website of the Office of Residential Services.

  • Residence Halls contain bedrooms for one to three people with shared bathrooms for the entire floor.  Residence halls do not contain full kitchens, and students are required to purchase a meal plan.
  • Suites house two to eight people with shared bedrooms, common areas, and bathrooms. Suites do not contain full kitchens, and students are required to purchase a meal plan.
  • Apartments include bedrooms, common areas, kitchens, and bathrooms for two to five people. Students living in apartments can cook for themselves and are not required to purchase a meal plan.
  • Off-campus accommodation is available, however Bentley cannot assist you with finding this kind of housing. We recommend that exchange students live on-campus, because local transportation to campus is not readily available.

Bentley will attempt to meet your housing preference but cannot guarantee that your preference will be available for the semester you are at Bentley. Linens and towels are not included in your room fee, but you will be given opportunities for shopping trips during Orientation.


The cost for housing placements can vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances of a room or apartment. Placements in apartments and with fewer roommates are more expensive options. Please consult the Residential and Dining Services websites for more detailed cost information.

Meal Plans

Bentley offers the Super Value Meal Plan (unlimited visits to the cafeteria every day), the Value 17 Meal Plan, the Value 15 Meal Plan, and the Value 10 Meal Plan. Students assigned to residence halls or suites are required to purchase the Super Value, Value 17, or Value 15 Meal Plan. More information about the meal plans and the dining facilities on campus can be found on the Dining Services website. Please note that meal plan costs are updated once per year; it is possible that the Dining Services website will not yet reflect exact fees for the semester you will be here. The Exchange Student Fees section of our website provides a range of meal plan costs, for planning purposes.

Global Living Center

The Global Living Center (GLC) is a residential living community that offers the opportunity to connect with peers from around the world and to learn about different cultures. Programs and events are designed to bring you together with other students to discuss international issues, learn about the world economy, and share your own diverse experiences and ideas. The GLC, located in the Orchard North Apartments, is able to offer housing to several exchange students each semester. If you are interested in living in the Global Living Center, please indicate so in question #5 in the online housing application.

Academics and Courses

About mid-way through the semester before you arrive at Bentley, we will send you detailed course registration instructions. These instructions will include specific dates (two to four days) during which you must register for courses in order to obtain your top choices. Please carefully follow our instructions when you receive them.

How can I learn more about Bentley courses and obtain syllabi for the courses I’m interested in taking?

You can obtain course information in two ways:

  1. Review the Registrar’s undergraduate course descriptions.
  2. Link to Bentley Blackboard and choose Guest Access. Next, open the black Courses tab, which will provide access to most course syllabi. 

Please note that all courses are not offered every semester. You will be able to determine whether a specific course is available once that semester’s courses are posted on the Registrar’s website. Courses are usually posted shortly before you register for classes. If you are unable to find the syllabi for courses on Blackboard, please email the department chairperson or designee explaining that you are an exchange student interested in studying at Bentley for the _______ semester and that you would like to determine whether you are eligible to receive credit from your home university for those courses.

How do I determine whether I have fulfilled prerequisites for a course I plan to take at Bentley?

First, link to the course description page on our Registrar’s website. Each course description lists the prerequisites, if any exist.  To better understand the content of any course, please link to Bentley Blackboard, select Guest Access, then select the Courses tab, and search for syllabi listed in the folders displayed. Since all courses are not offered every semester, you might need to search more than one folder to find a syllabus. If necessary, please consult with your home university advisor after reviewing the resources described above.

Does Bentley require exchange students to enroll in certain courses?

No, provided that you receive approval from your home university you are eligible to register for any undergraduate class. The following exceptions apply: 

  • Courses marked “Honors Program Only” are specifically reserved for Bentley students enrolled in the Honors Program. Exchange students are unable to register for these courses.
  • ​“Service-Learning 4th-Credit Option” means that once you are at Bentley and attending class, you will have the option to add one credit to your course, making it worth 4 credits. This credit will require you to complete a service project which will be one additional hour of time each week.
  • Example: “Fusion Course with CIN375 and FN1. Must register for both.” means that students must enroll in both courses.

Can I change courses when I arrive at Bentley?

Yes, there is an ADD/DROP period during the first week of the semester. However, during the ADD/DROP period some classes are already fully enrolled and therefore no longer available; thus, it is best to carefully choose your courses during the course registration period.

Why can't I register into some courses?

Sometimes courses fill up quickly and students are unable to register for them. These are listed as CL (closed) or WL (waitlisted). Exchange students can contact the professor of the course directly to request that they be put on the waitlist, but in the meantime students will need to register for either four or five courses to maintain their full time student status.

Can I take graduate courses?

Undergraduate exchange students may only enroll in undergraduate courses at Bentley. Graduate students may only enroll in graduate courses. 

How many courses should I take while at Bentley?

Five 3-credit courses per term are considered a full load at Bentley, and we recommend that you enroll in this number of courses. You must enroll in a minimum of four 3-credit courses while at Bentley. While we do not recommend doing so, you may enroll in six courses; if you choose to do so, you must wait and add the sixth course during the Add/Drop period held during the first week of each term; please note that many courses will be full and thus “closed” during the Add/Drop week, therefore you should select your highest priority courses during the online registration period. More information about courses, credits, and academics is available on the Registrar's website.

What is Bentley’s grading scale?

Please see the Registrar’s website to view a grading scale.

How can I obtain a transcript at the end of my term at Bentley?

Bentley will mail two copies of your transcript to your home institution within a few weeks after you complete your Bentley final examinations and Exchange Evaluation. If you want more “official” copies, you can complete the Transcript Request Form on the Registrar's website.

Why doesn’t Blackboard list all of my courses?

To locate an accurate list of courses in which you are enrolled, please use Workday. Blackboard often provides incomplete information because faculty members might or might not choose to utilize Blackboard for course information.  

International Health Insurance and Health Services

The Bentley Student Health Center is available to answer any questions you may have about your medical status while at Bentley. You will be asked to complete health forms, upload immunization records, and complete online trainings before arrival. Health requirement details, deadlines, and contact information can be found online: Getting Started with Student Health.

All exchange students are required to enroll in and pay for the Bentley Student Health Insurance Plan. You will be automatically enrolled in the plan.

Yes, Bentley requires all international students to purchase our group insurance plan. Massachusetts law states that all full-time students must have an American insurance plan. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS. During First Week/Orientation, a professional from the Health Center will speak with you about health insurance and other health-related matters. In the meantime, you can learn more at University Health Plans.

J-1 Visa Application

During the semester before you arrive at Bentley, we will provide you with specific instructions on how to upload a copy of your passport and how to prepare and upload financial documentation to our BentleyAbroad application system.  Soon after you upload your financial documents, we will send your official Bentley acceptance package to your home institution. The package will will include an acceptance letter, a DS-2019 form, and visa application instructions. You will use this material to obtain your J-1 student visa at a US consulate or embassy in your home country. Please visit our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

I hold passports from more than one country. How should I handle this when applying for a visa?

Please choose only one country/passport and upload that passport to our BentleyAbroad system. Please see our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley. 

I plan to travel with my student visa (J-1) in the US before my Bentley semester begins. How soon before the semester begins can I arrive in the US?

In order to study as an exchange student for the semester at Bentley, you will obtain DS-2019 paperwork and a J-1 visa. This DS-2019 and J-1 visa allow you to arrive in the US up to one month before classes begin (NOT one month before your arrival/orientation!).  Please link to Dates and Arrival Information on our Exchange Student website for important dates regarding the semester you will attend Bentley. Please see our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

I plan to travel in the US with a tourist visa (B) before my Bentley semester begins. Can I stay in the US, using my J-1 student visa, after traveling as a tourist beforehand?

If you are already in the US on a B tourist visa before the term begins, you must leave and re-enter the US using your J-1 student visa before your exchange periods begins. Regardless of when you leave the US you must re-enter no earlier than 30 days before the start of classes (not the start of orientation!). It does not matter what country you visit in order to leave and re-enter the US (Canada is fine). You just must ensure that you re-enter the US with a valid visa status (J-1). Please see our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

I plan to travel in the US after my Bentley semester ends. How long can I stay in the US?

You are allowed to stay in the US for a period of one month after the end date on your DS-2019 form. Please link to our CISS website for more general international student/visa information, but note that some information on this site pertains to full-time international students at Bentley.

Additional Resources

Living in Dorms

I am used to apartment living at my home university and don’t know much about dorm living.  What should I expect?

Here is some general information that might help you prepare for dorm life…


  • Dorm life means you’ll be close to everything you need on campus – classes, food, library, faculty offices, athletic facilities, etc.
  • Since a meal plan is included with Bentley housing, you don’t need to shop for food or cook your meals. This can be a nice change of pace during the semester you spend with us! (Remember, a meal plan is mandatory unless you are placed in an apartment – please link to the Residential Center for more details.)
  • Dorm living makes it easy to meet people. Hopefully, you’ll make friends, find people to eat with, collaborate creatively and academically, and share your ups and downs with roommates and hall mates.


  • You might find that all the dorm socializing makes studying challenging. If so, consider going to the library or another quiet place. 
  • Living in a relatively small space with many different personalities can lead to understandable conflicts, but learning to resolve them is part of the student life experience. If conflicts become difficult to resolve, residence directors and other professional residence life staff can help.


  • Remember that your living situation while at Bentley, whether it is your first choice or not, will last for only a few months. Try to be flexible and open-minded about your surroundings and your roommates, especially when you first arrive and might be feeling tired, homesick and unfamiliar with your new environment.
  • Consider discussing and agreeing upon “rules” with your roommates, hall mates, or suite-mates. Consider…How late is music played? How often and how late is a TV left on? Cleaning? Visitors – daily and overnight? Sharing food and other belongings? Decorations?
  • Keep an open dialogue with your roommates and maintain respect for one another. Remember that what seems normal to you might annoy your roommate and vice versa!

Campus Life

Bentley offers a variety of on-campus activities, programs, and services to all students. International exchange students are encouraged to attend events, utilize services, and join organizations that are of interest to them.  Refer to the Campus Life website for full details

Center for International Students and Scholars

CISS provides a variety of services by facilitating the integration of international students and scholars into the Bentley community.  These services include immigration counseling, cultural adjustment programming, personal assistance/counseling, and intercultural programs. All questions about visas and DS-2019 forms should be directed to CISS.

International Organizations

There are a number of international organizations at Bentley. Please link to Cultural Awareness Organizations to learn more about them.

Computer Resources

Exchange students must bring their own laptop to Bentley.  As soon as you arrive on campus, you will receive instructions and assistance in configuring your laptop.