The Office for International Students and Scholars provides information on a wide range of international student concerns, including employment, extension, health care, housing, maintaining student status, change of status, social security, travel, visas and immigration, and much more.

Learn more about how international students view Villanova University and how they adjusted once arriving on campus.


Current Villanova international students share their stories of what it's like to be a part of the Villanova community.


In 1961 the Mutual Educational and Exchange Act, i.e. Fulbright-Hayes Act, established the J-Exchange Visitor visa category.

The US Department of State website states the purpose of the program "is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges."

The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa and, as such, the visa applicant must prove to the visa officer's satisfaction (at the time of the visa interview at the US Consulate) that the student will return home at the completion of their program.

Exchange Visitor Program Staff

Dr. Craig Wheeland
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Officer (RO)
Tolentine Hall, Room 103
Phone: 610-519-4521
Email Craig Wheeland

Ms. Anne Mattia
Administrative Assistant
Alternative Responsible Officer (ARO)
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
Tolentine Hall, Room 103
Phone: 610-519-4523
Email Anne Mattia

Mr. Hubert WhanTong
Foreign Student Advisor
Alternative Responsible Officer (ARO)
Office of International Student Services
Connelly Center, Second Foor
Phone: 610-519-8017
Email Hubert WhanTong

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs



Frequently Asked Questions


Before Your Arrival

An international student is an individual that is not a United States citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) and requires a student visa (F-1 or J-1) to study in the United States. United States citizens and permanent residents residing abroad will be reviewed by the international admission staff.

Applicants for whom English is not a native language are required to submit results from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System). Some exceptions may exist. Please visit the International Prospective Students page for more details and requirements.

Villanova University does not offer an intensive English program. You may wish to consider ELS Language Centers prior to applying to Villanova University.

Villanova University recognizes the rigors of the Advanced Placement (AP) program, the International Baccalaureate (IB), and other international curricula such as the British 'A' levels, the French Bacalaureat, the German Abitur, etc. Students who have taken these courses and excelled in their studies may be considered for advanced credit or placement. 

In order to be considered for advanced credit or placement, students must submit official exam results which in turn will be evaluated by the appropriate Dean of the college to which they have applied. If advanced credit is considered, the courses will be entered into the student's record with Villanova credit but without a grade. In some cases, the advanced placement course will allow the student to place out of a lower-level course but will not be counted as credit.

First-year undergraduate international students are eligible to be considered for limited need-based aid, merit-based scholarships, and athletic scholarships.

Students may also apply for loans and participate in the University's tuition payment plan. For more information, please visit the Financial Aid website.


Villanova University is committed to the success of each and every one of its students. For this reason, there are numerous places students can turn to for support, a helping hand, or a word of advice. 

As an international student, one of the most important offices you will come in contact with is the Office of International Student Services, and the advisors will help you with many issues such as cross-cultural adjustment, integrating yourself on campus, and visa issues.

Contact Us:

Office Location:
Connelly Center, Second Floor

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

(610) 519-4095


Steve McWilliams, Ph.D.
Phone: 610-519-4095
Email Steve McWilliams

Assistant Director
SEVIS/Immigration Specialist
Hubert WhanTong, Esq.
Phone: 610-519-8017
Email Hubert WhanTong

For support in your home country, you may wish to contact your local Education Advising and Information Center, sponsored through the U.S. Department of State. Here you can learn more about the educational system in the United States, where to take required tests (SAT, TOEFL), and receive information about applying for your student visa.

It is strongly suggested you do not attempt to bring food items with you when entering the United States. Due to health and safety concerns, food items (including plants and meat products) will be seized at the port of entry and destroyed.

  • Passport
  • DS-2019

Do not leave the DHS area of the airport if your Arrival Record (white I-94 card) has any designation other than J-1.

If you are renting a home or apartment and think you might need renters’ insurance upon your arrival to the United States, please check out this resource.

Form I-20 is the document issued by Villanova University and required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order for you to acquire your student visa (F-1). 

This document is issued to admitted students after they have demonstrated sufficient funding by submitting the Certificate of Finances, available through your Applicant Status Page, with a supporting bank letter (in English and in US Dollars).

To learn more about the visa application, please visit the United States Department of State website, which is sponsored by the United States Department of State.


Villanova and Local Information

The weather in Philadelphia is generally moderate and rarely goes below 0 Fahrenheit or above 100 Fahrenheit.

Students who are awarded need-based assistance have the opportunity to work on campus during the academic year.

The Office of Student Involvement offers over 250 opportunities to enhance your college experience outside the classroom. From recreation, service opportunities, cultural events and leadership programs, learn skills, build relationships and enrich your campus experience. 

International Student Services

Connelly Center, Second Floor
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, PA. 19085