Information for Exchange Visitors
Exchange Visitor Program
The United States Department of State (DOS) operates the Exchange Visitor Program to facilitate educational and cultural exchange activities in order to develop and promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries of the world. Since its inception in 1948, the Exchange Visitor Program has exposed millions of foreign visitors to the United States; its culture, philosophy, business techniques, and educational institutions. Specific cultural and educational activities are carried on by a large number of sponsoring agencies that are approved by DOS to conduct programs for exchange visitors.
Texas Tech University, like many leading educational institutions, sponsors educational and research programs for students, researchers, professors, short-term scholars and specialists under the Exchange Visitor Program. Although in all cases there are immediate teaching, research, study, or scholarly exchange objectives in the University's programs, the underlying goal in all Exchange Visitor Programs is the enhancement of international, mutual, human understanding.
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in the Office of International Affairs at Texas Tech University is responsible for the University's Exchange Visitor Program. All communications concerning the Exchange Visitor Program should be addressed to this office at P.O. Box 45004, Lubbock, TX 79409-5004, U.S.A., phone (806) 742-3667, fax 806-742-1286.
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University is a multipurpose state university with a range of program offerings that provide the opportunity for a liberal education for all students and professional training at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Scholarly research is carried on across the university.
The University is composed of ten colleges: Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Architecture, Business Administration, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, Honors, Human Sciences, Mass Communications, and Visual and Performing Arts as well as a Graduate School and a School of Law. The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center adjacent to the University includes a School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School or Pharmacy, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and a School of Allied Health. The university has approximately 31,000 students one-fifth of whom are graduate students.
The University is located in Lubbock, Texas, a city with a population of more than 225,000. The city is located on the high, flat plains of West Texas, approximately 600 kilometers west of Dallas/Fort Worth, and 600 kilometers east of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. It is one kilometer above sea level. The "South Plains" area of West Texas surrounding Lubbock is a short-stem grass region that is primarily used for growing cotton. Oil production is also important in the regional economy. Its climate is excellent, with over 3,550 hours of sunshine every year. Summers are dry and not extremely hot, while winters are dry and moderate. The average annual rainfall is less than 46 centimeters. The average temperature is 16 C. The January average is 4 C, and the August average is about 27 C. Although extended periods of extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures are not common, visitors should be prepared for temperatures as high as 44 C in the summer and as low as -16 C in the winter. The average wind speed is approximately 20 kph.
Lubbock can be reached most easily by air. Southwest Airlines, American Eagle (associated with American Airlines) and Continental Airlines provide jet service to Lubbock International Airport. There is also inter-city bus service; however, the relatively long distance to other major cities makes air travel the most common form of transportation. There are several United States and Interstate Highways through the city.
The most common intra-city transportation is by car. The city spreads out over a large area making walking impractical for most people. Housing and services are available near the university campus, and many visitors eliminate transportation problems by limiting their trips to other parts of the city. Although some public bus transportation is available, the bus system is not well developed in Lubbock, a typical situation in the United States.
Housing/Cost of Living
There is dormitory housing on campus for single students, but there is no on-campus housing for married students and families. Most visitors live in apartments near campus. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Lubbock is $900 per month; however, the price and quality of apartments varies greatly within the city.
Food services are available on-campus while the university is in session, and a number of restaurants are located adjacent to the campus. Supermarkets and grocery stores are also located near the campus.
The cost of living in Lubbock is more than seven percent below the average for the United States. Again, exchange visitors report a very wide range of living expenses here. Although some visitors have been able to live in Lubbock for as little as $8000 per year (excluding transportation and program expenses), we strongly recommend that larger amounts of funding be available. Health care is easily available with two major medical facilities near the campus. Health care in the United States is, however, very expensive, and exchange visitors and their dependents must have health insurance to help pay the costs of illnesses and accidents. Health insurance is also expensive. The cost of insurance varies, but a visitor should expect to pay at least $1400 per year per person for health insurance. The University requires enrolled non-immigrant students to purchase the TTU Student Health plan in most cases. This student insurance may require higher coverage than the insurance required of Exchange Visitors by the U.S. Department of State.
Check-In for Exchange Visitors
All J-1 Research Scholars, Professors, Short-term Scholars, Students and Specialists must check-in at the Office of International Affairs shortly after arrival in Lubbock.
Everyone arriving to check-in should bring their passport, DS-2019 and I-94 card (for you and your family, if applicable) Check-in will normally take one hour.
Additional information is available through the Office of International Affairs. The Texas Tech Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the office and can be contacted at the following address:
Texas Tech Exchange Visitor Program
Office of International Affairs, ISSS
P.O. Box 45004
Lubbock, Texas 79409-5004
Phone: (806) 742 3667
The office is located in the International Cultural Center, 7th and Indiana Avenue, on the Texas Tech campus behind the Museum of Texas Tech and across Indiana Avenue from the Texas Tech Health Science Center.