Life at KU

Life at KU

Wondering how you’ll spend your free time?  There are ample opportunities to get involved, meet other students, and experience KU student life to the fullest.  Attend Tea @ 3 every Thursday in the Kansas Union, join a special interest organization like the Adventure Club, play a club sport such as Rugby, or cheer on the Jayhawk athletics teams.    

“You at KU” International Student Orientation

All new international students (whether coming to KU on exchange or as degree-seeking students) participate in the week-long You at KU International Student Orientation, which is run and organized by International Student Services.  The orientation program includes an introduction to university facilities, resources and policies, and student life at KU and in the US.  It typically begins 2-3 weeks prior to the first day of class. 

Student Involvement & Leadership Center (SILC)

SILC helps students to become leaders in their communities by providing hands-on learning opportunities.  It oversees the registration of more than 600 student, campus, and community organizations, provides leadership programming, and programming for specific populations such as fraternity and sorority members, nontraditional students, and students of all gender identities, gender expressions and sexual orientations. 


As a student at KU, you will have access to the Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center, which offers state-of-the-art fitness facilities and equipment, group fitness programming, intramurals, club sports, and wellness programming. 


A favorite activity among many students is attending KU athletic events such as football, volleyball, and basketball games.  The volleyball team is currently ranked 10th in the country and plays regularly in front of sold-out crowds at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.  Men’s and women’s basketball seasons span the fall and spring semesters.  Camping out inside of Allen Fieldhouse in order to secure the best seats possible for games is a long-standing tradition for men’s basketball due to the always highly ranked team.   


Waving the wheat, the crimson and blue color scheme, and the world famous Rock Chalk Chant are just a few of the many traditions that unite generations of KU alumni.  As an exchange student, you too will have the opportunity to learn these traditions and become part of the Jayhawk community.  Each Fall, Traditions Night is offered at Memorial Stadium as part of Hawk Week, the official welcome week that takes place at the beginning of the semester. 

Jayhawk Friends

Another great way to make friends is to participate in the Jayhawk Exchange Friend Program, which pairs incoming exchange students with KU students who have recently studied abroad and are therefore familiar with the transitions involved.  Your Jayhawk Exchange Friend will be a great resource when you first arrive in Lawrence and throughout your time at KU.  It is not a structured program so you and your friend will decide together how often you want to meet and what sorts of activities you would like to do together.  All incoming exchange students will complete the Exchange Friends Questionnaire as part of the post-acceptance process and this information will be used to pair you with someone who has similar interests. 

Learn More


Summer 2022 programs now accepting applications !

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9th among public universities in the country for high quality, low cost study abroad programs — U.S. News & World Report
Longest-running exchange program in Western Hemisphere (begun in 1958) between KU and University of Costa Rica
18th in the nation among public universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad — Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange
28.1% of KU undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation.
KU students who study abroad graduate in four years at twice the rate of students who do not study abroad
More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
Students can study abroad for an academic year, semester, summer, spring break, or winter break
Programs include international study, internships, service, and research opportunities
Students participating in semester, academic year, and select summer programs fulfill Goal 4.2 of the KU Core curriculum
Students can fulfill major, minor, certificate, elective, and KU Core curriculum requirements abroad
Programs are available for students in every major at KU
Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
Study Abroad & Global Engagement and many academic departments offer scholarships to qualified KU students
By studying abroad, students gain a global perspective on the world and strengthen their career opportunities
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times