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USciences Designated as J-1 Exchange Visitor Sponsor
This summer USciences gained designation from the U.S. Department of State as a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program sponsor. This new visa category will open up opportunities for engagement with the rest of the world and allow the University to host a broad array of international visitors, from exchange students to researchers and teaching faculty.
“Cultural and academic exchange is at the heart of the Exchange Visitor Program,” said Bill Keyes, International Student Specialist. “In sponsoring J-1 international visitors, USciences is helping the country build stronger bridges to other countries and their institutions. As a STEM institution involved in pioneering research, it is also vital for USciences to forge links with partners abroad at a point in time where the rest of the world is contributing ever more to the global research effort.”
The Exchange Visitor Program is overseen by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State. The program aims to promote public diplomacy and bring together people from different cultures with shared interests and passions.
The University currently enrolls students from abroad on F-1 visas, but this visa category is solely for full-time students pursuing degree programs. The J-1 visa, on the other hand, allows USciences to host visiting scholars for a range of purposes – from delivering speeches and seminars to conducting collaborative research in our labs.
“Under this visa program there is also potential for hosting students on a short-term basis and building out exchange programs with institutions overseas,” said Keyes.
In the higher education setting, this allows scholars from overseas to come and collaborate on cutting edge research; it enables U.S.-based institutions to host foreign researchers and teaching professors for up to five years; and it provides opportunities for international students to take part in non-degree programs.
The J-1 visa program at USciences will be administrated through the International Student Services office in Student Affairs. This office worked with stakeholders across campus to establish a firm basis for the program at USciences and to compile the application, which was submitted in March this year.
Any faculty considering hosting international scholars are encouraged to coordinate with Keyes regarding visitors’ visa requirements.
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