Hosting a Visiting Scholar

Hosting a Visiting Scholar at Teachers College

If you are interested in hosting a Visiting Scholar, there are a few basic items to consider before pursuing the request. 

Arrival

If the Visiting Scholar is not able to arrive in time to start their program at Teachers College, the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) needs to be notified of this change within 2 weeks of the start date. 

The deparmental contact person can contact the OISS at tcintl@tc.columbia.edu regarding this change.  

Housing

Will the Visiting Scholar need assistance in securing housing? The host department should assist the scholar in finding housing upon their arrival. 

Facilities/Services
Visiting Scholars receive the following privileges at Teachers College:

  • University ID (or UNI) for access to electronic resources and a TC Gmail account.
  • Access to Teachers College and Columbia University libraries with some restrictions during periods of examination or special events.
  • Auditing of classes with the instructor’s permission.
  • Attending open lectures.

Are there additional resources the host department will provide? Some items to consider are:

  • Lab access
  • Office space and keys

Inviting Faculty Responsibilities 

By extending an invitation to a visiting scholar, the faculty member agrees to the following:

  • Be present on campus for the duration of the scholar's visit
  • Ensure the scholar checks in with the department's administrator and the OISS immediately upon arrival
  • Meet with the scholar at the start of the program to discuss research strategy and goals
  • Have a general idea of the scholar's whereabouts (e.g., out for illness, out for vacation)
  • Report as soon as possible any unexplained, extended absences to the OISS

Hosting a J-1 Research Scholar at Teachers College

If you are interested in hosting a Visiting Scholar who requires J-1 visa sponsorship, there are a few additional items to consider before pursuing the request. 

The OISS is here to assist you through the process of inviting and hosting a J-1 Research Scholar. We ask that you make your request to host a J-1 Research Scholar and their Form DS-2019 at least two to three (2-3) months in advance of the expected program start date of the Visiting Scholars program. This allows time for the scholar to receive the DS-2019 and obtain a J-1 Visa in a timely manner. 

We provide a J-1 visa workshop/orientation for an incoming J-1 Research Scholar. We are also available to departments by phone, email, or appointments for questions about J-1 status, extension, cultural adjustment, etc.    

Host Department Responsibilities 

As an academic host department, you have certain responsibilities to ensure that your invited Visiting Scholar is successful as a J-1 Exchange Visitor.

Here are some important items to consider:  

Determine funding type

J-1 Research Scholars are required to submit financial documentation via TC-Compass. They may provide the following types of funding for their visit to Teachers College:

  • Home Government Funding
  • U.S. Government Agency Funding
  • International Organization or Other Organizations
  • Personal (Bank Statement)

 J-2 Dependents

If the J-1 Research Scholar will be bringing their child(ren) or spouse as their dependent, they will need to request J-2 visa sponsorship via TC-Compass. They may also have questions regarding child care resources. While not extensive, you will find information and resources regarding child care here

Insurance Requirement
J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to have insurance for themselves and their dependents for the duration of their program. The academic host department is responsible to notify the J-1 Exchange Visitor regarding this requirement. More information can be found here

Inviting Faculty Responsibilties 

By extending an invitation to a J-1 research scholar, the faculty host agrees to the following:

  • Notify the scholar of the English proficiency requirement
  • Be present on campus for for the duration of the scholar's visit
  • Ensure the scholar checks-in with the department's administrator and the OISS immediately upon arrival
  • Meet with the scholar at the start of the program to discuss research strategy and goals
  • Have a general idea of the scholar's whereabouts (e.g., out for illness, out for vacation)
  • Report as soon as possible any unexplained, extended absences to the OISS
  • Obtain prior approval from the OISS before any changes occur in the scholar's program (e.g., finances, end date, program objectives)

 Ready to Initiate the Visiting Scholar Application?

The OISS provides frequent Visiting Scholar Information Sessions to faculty and staff at Teachers College who are interested in hosting a visiting scholar.

Topics covered include:

  • Visiting Scholar eligibility
  • Expectations in hosting a Visiting Scholar 
  • Visiting Scholar application process
  • Visiting Scholar Program Extension
  • J-1 requirements for international Visiting Scholars

You might also refer to "Steps to Invite a Visiting Scholar to Teachers College

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