Next Steps

After getting your DS-2019, there are still a few things to before arriving in Pensacola.

International student walking outside of the College of Science and Engineering

What do I do Next?

Before you start your adventure at UWF, there are still several things you need to do before arriving for orientation. International Programs is dedicated to helping you achieve academic success at UWF and enjoy your time in Pensacola. With more than 400 international students coming from over 90 countries, our students bring valuable culture and diversity to the UWF campus. We are here to help you with the next steps. The next things you need to do are: get an J-1 exchange visa, plan your housing, arrange insurance, get ready for classes, and register for international orientation. 

Getting a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

Once admitted, international students are issued a Form DS-2019 by International Programs. The Form DS-2019 is used to apply for a J-1 exchange visitor visa. 

The first step is to pay your SEVIS fee. This is done by logging on to and paying the fee. The University of West Florida's Exchange Visitor Program number is P-1-05068.

After paying the SEVIS fee, it is possible to schedule an appointment with an embassy or consulate for a visa interview. The U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Visa Website is a valuable resource and will guide students through the process.

Finding Housing

International students may want to live on-campus in the UWF residence halls or rent an off-campus apartment. As distance and transportation can be difficult in Pensacola unless you plan to have a car, we suggest that you live on-campus in a residence hall, or off-campus at one of the nearby apartment complexes. Most students who live on or near campus buy bicycles soon after they arrive. Be sure to make arrangements for housing early to ensure that you have a place reserved well before arrival.

On-Campus Housing

Housing and Residence Life can provide students with information regarding the application process, housing options and campus life.

Off-Campus Housing

There are many apartment complexes, rooms for rent and other accommodations nearby UWF's main campus.  Students can view available off-campus options through UWF's Off-Campus Housing Service.

Purchasing Insurance

The State of Florida requires all international students to have health and accident insurance. Students can purchase the UWF insurance plan or submit an approved waiver. Many foreign insurance companies and travel insurance plans do not meet the State of Florida regulations. For more information, please review Getting Health Insurance.

Registering for Classes

Registering for classes early is important as some classes reach their enrollment capacity quickly. Not all classes are offered every semester. Check the registration catalog to determine class availability.

To register for classes, complete the following steps: 

1. Complete the Online Mandatory Immunization Health History Form. If you have questions about immunizations or the process, email You will not be able to register for classes until this form has been submitted and approved by Student Health Services. 

2. Register for classes using the Registration Guide. If you have problems registering for classes or you need a prerequisite lifted, please email