J-1 Exchange Visitors
Department/Center Responsibilities under the J Cultural Exchange Visitor Program
Exchanges of faculty and scholars under the J1 Cultural Exchange Visitor Program of the United States Department of State (DOS) involve significant commitment and responsibility for the University and the host Department/Center or other unit, and for the individuals initiating the exchange. These commitments and responsibilities arise from legal requirements under DOS regulations, principles of reciprocity in inter-institutional exchange, and ethical norms in hosting guests who are far from home.
Some exchanges may last for periods of only a few weeks. While visits of short-term scholars may be rewarding and involve significant responsibilities, they are not the primary focus of this document. Federal regulations exclude the short-term scholar category from some program requirements. This document addresses temporary stays that may last for a period of a few months to several years.
Participants in exchanges range from those in entry-level training positions to internationally recognized scholars. Some participants come as UAH employees, and others are hosted largely as a courtesy while they pursue their own research interests. While appropriate preparations and services for these visitors vary greatly within such a diverse group, consideration must be given to the host's reasonable responsibilities in each case.
In order to ensure that the J1 exchange program continues to be an academically rewarding and enriching experience for all involved and that it is in compliance with federal regulations, the following list of responsibilities is provided for planning and implementing exchanges:
The host department or unit is responsible for initiating communications with the International Student and Scholar Office in order to verify that the proposed program is possible under existing federal regulations. This should be done prior to making any commitments to a prospective visitor. The host department will ensure that the exchange visitor checks in with the International Student and Scholar Office upon arrival and completes the mandatory orientation for Exchange Visitors (mandated by the U.S. Department of State regulations).
Scholars and faculty members from abroad should not be invited or accepted to teach or pursue research at the University unless it can be documented that the visitors will have appropriate funding while participating in the exchange. Financial documentation from whatever source is required prior to being deemed eligible for the J1 Exchange Program so that they will not experience financial hardship during their period of stay at the University. The U.S. Department of State stipulates that all J EV are required to maintain insurance. This cost should be considered when determining funds needed for the period of the J exchange. Contact the ISSO for up to date for minimum monthly sponsorship as these figures are revised annually.
3. Faculty Contact Person at UAH
The host department or unit should designate a faculty contact person well in advance of the visitor's arrival. This person will serve as the primary contact to help solve the problems commonly experienced when moving to another institution or country and to correspond with the visitor well before departure from the home country for Huntsville, providing basic information and answering such questions as the visitor may have.
The faculty contact person should consult the International Student and Scholar Office early in the negotiations to ensure that the international visitor has proper documentation to meet U.S. visa and immigration regulations. This includes providing assistance in gathering required information for the preparation of immigration documents (DS-2019).
The faculty contact person is responsible for introducing the visitor to other members of the host department, providing a basic briefing as appropriate on the University, academic duties, and should collaborate with other university staff to provide resources about activities and resources available to the visitor (and family) at the University and in the Huntsville community.
4. Agreement on Duties and Goals
In order to avoid unjustified expectations and disappointment for everyone concerned, it is essential that goals and academic duties during the visit be agreed upon in principle before departure of the visitor for Huntsville. The host department should send detailed information on expected teaching or research duties to the visitor well in advance of departure for Huntsville, including arrangements for ordering books for courses. Any research goals should be agreed upon reflecting the objectives and interests of the host and visitor and ensuring that the research can be carried out and completed within the limits of the visit. This also includes providing accurate information regarding ability to enroll in classes while visiting UAH.
The host department should make every effort to assure adequate housing for the visitor. Since it is difficult to judge preferences of visitors, it is recommended that arrangements be made before the visitor's arrival for initial temporary housing and that assistance then be provided in locating appropriate final accommodations.
6. Facilities, Office and Research Space
The host department should assure adequate and appropriate office space for the visitor and should inform the visitor well before departure from the home country about office space and other facilities to be made available and such support and amenities as access to secretarial help and computers, as appropriate. In cases in which facilities will not be available, the limitations should be communicated to the visitor prior to departure for the United States.
7. Travel to and around Huntsville
It is the initial arrival, which sets the tone for the entire visit. The host department should see to it that the visitor is met at the airport and settled in temporary accommodations. To the extent possible, the host department should anticipate providing opportunities to the visitor to visit local sites of interest as part of orienting the visitor to the area and enriching the visitor's experience while at the University.
8. Supervision and Oversight
The host department is responsible for appropriate supervision and evaluation of exchange faculty and scholars including periodic and final reviews of the visitor's program. The department must inform the International Student and Scholar Office of any dereliction of duties or deviation from the visitor's program as described in the visitor's immigration documents.
The department must notify the International Student and Scholar Office of the departure of an exchange visitor. The faculty contact or other appropriate departmental representative should provide the International Student and Scholar Office with a short written evaluation of the exchange indicating whether the objectives of the visit were met and what additional contact or programs (if any) might reasonably be expected to develop as a result of the visit.
9. Social and Cultural Events
The host department/center, together with International Student and Scholar Office, should ensure that the visitor and family receive invitations to appropriate social and cultural functions, especially during the initial period of the visit.
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