Ultimate Guide to CSU Exchange

Ultimate Guide to CSU Exchange

Spending a semester abroad is not just taking classes in another country – it’s entering a whole new life and immersing yourself in a new culture for months. When coming on exchange there are a lot of factors to think about from getting a Visa to how to move out.  We have concentrated what we believe are the most important things that you need to know into a comprehensive guide for those short on time. 

Before You Come

PassportVisa and Interview Process

One of the most important things that you will need to obtain in order to successfully come on exchange to Colorado State University is a U.S. Student Visa. This can be quite a stressful and lengthy process if you don’t do it correctly. To find out more about the processes that are involved in successfully gaining a visa check out our post on Important Travel Documents.  

Money Exchange

Another thing you will need to have organised when you come to the United States is U.S. currency. Depending on your home currency, each exchange rate will be different and it will fluctuate daily, so it is worth following it for a few days to get the best rate. If you want to find out more about where to change money over here in Colorado or about different credit cards that are accepted in the united States check out our post on Exchanging Money.


Packing for CO

Horsetooth Rock
Exchange Students at the top of Horsetooth Rock

Colorado has over 300 days of sunshine a year – snow also does not stick around too long, and the winter months have an average temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit (about 7 degrees Celsius). We also do not experience a lot of humidity generally.

Don’t Forget

Living far away from home, in another country, for an entire semester can be overwhelming at times, bring something with you that reminds you of home. It is also a good idea to bring some of your favorite foods that may not be available in CO.

To learn more in detail about Colorado fall weather and packing tips, please visit our blog post “Packing Essentials”


One thing that you will definitely need right from the start of your study abroad experience is a set of sheets and a towel. After flying on an international flight, there is nothing like having a hot shower and getting straight into bed. You can even plan ahead and order your linen ahead of time, so it is there when you arrive at CSU. In order to ensure that you have the appropriate linen for on campus housing check out our post on Your First College Shopping Trip.


Outside of Class Info

Athletics & Outdoor Activities 

CSU students cheering on Rams at home
CSU students cheering on the Rams at home – Photo by Tony Villalobos May

The two activities quintessential to the Colorado college experience are university football and hiking.  If you do anything at all while at CSU, we highly suggest you attend a Rams game at our new stadium and witness a sunrise at Horsetooth. If you have any more time to spend or want more information check out our Making the Most of Your Weekends post!

How to Get Around CSU

At CSU, there are numerous public transportation options – The Horn bus travels around campus and runs every 10 minutes. Off campus, CSU provides a free, safe nighttime driving service called Ram Ride. Its hours are 10pm – 2am Thursdays and 10pm – 3am on Fridays and Saturdays in order to help keep students from drunk driving. More information can be found on our blog post “Making the Most of Your First Week”.  


Class Information


image of lettered dice spelling studyTILT ( The Institute for Learning and Teaching) is one of the most important resources on campus for study help and tutoring The TILT building is located off the oval, and its different tutoring sections are listed on its website. If you want any more tips our Making the Most of Your First Week has many helpful first week of class insights.

Finals Information

photo of CSU final examFinals week is held in the last week of the semester and most subjects, depending on what you are enrolled in, have a final exam. It is essential that you do not book your departing flight before the end of finals week, as you can (and possibly will) have an exam on the last Friday of the semester. Also, make sure you bring the following supplies:

  • Student ID Card
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Calculator (if the exam permits the use of a calculator)
  • Pens
  • Highlighters
  • Ruler

If you want more finals week information go to our How to Survive Finals Week Post.

Moving Boxes


Moving Out

Moving out can be a very stressful process if you don’t plan ahead. You need to make sure that you complete all the relevant documentation and get start to get rid of the stuff you no longer need accordingly. If you want to find out more about how to move out successfully,  please check out our blog post on How to Survive Finals Week .

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