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WOU Visiting Scholar Program

Applying and Pre-Arrival Information

Visiting Scholar Application Page

General Information | How to Apply | Information for Campus Faculty and Mentors | Estimated Program Costs | Visa and Immigration Information | Contact Information

Current Visiting Scholar Information

Orientation and Information | Immigration Forms and Documents | Past and Present Scholars

General Information

The Visiting Scholar Program was started at Western Oregon University to create a more diverse campus culture and to provide international scholars an opportunity to conduct research, study, teach, observe, share their skills, and participate in cross-cultural activities while in the United States. Research Scholars and Professors have an opportunity to interact in cross-cultural activities with Western’s students, faculty, staff, and community.

Often, the most valuable resource for Visiting Scholars is the faculty mentor or department head. Visiting Scholars will be paired with a faculty mentor in a designated department who will assist in clarifying the scholar’s learning plan and help set up attainable goals to reach during the period of research.

Visiting Scholars may use resources on the Western Oregon University campus such as the WOU library, computer rooms, laboratories, and facilities. Visiting Scholars may sit-in on academic classes to gain knowledge for their research topic.

There will be various opportunities throughout the year for scholars to meet with Western faculty and students. Scholars may meet with the Office of International Education and Development administrators to discuss opportunities of further cooperation between WOU and their home university.

How to Apply

Currently WOU only accepts visiting scholars from partner institutions with which there is a joint program or exchange program. If your institution is interested in connecting with WOU, please contact Neng Yang: yangn@wou.edu for further information.

Information for Campus Faculty and Mentors

To request or invite a Visiting Scholar to the WOU campus, departments or faculty need to follow the International Visiting Scholar approval procedure

Faculty mentors of the Visiting Scholars are an important part of the scholar’s experience in the United States. With the mentor’s support, a Visiting Scholar has a greater opportunity to get involved in campus life, classes, and presentations. Find out more about department and mentor’s responsibilities with the Visiting Scholar Program.

Please let the Office of International Education and Development in Maaske Hall know if you have any further questions about inviting a Visiting Scholar or Professor to the WOU campus; there may be other visa options. Contact Information.

Estimated Program Costs

Below is the estimated breakdown of costs for an International Visiting Scholar at Western Oregon University. Please note that costs may vary by individual or program and are subject to change without notification.

It is estimated that it costs a minimum of at least $1,000 a month to live in the United States for an International Visiting Scholar. This cost includes the mandatory insurance fee at around $280-$475 per term (price varies depending on term), housing/utilities at $350-$500 per month, and food $200 or more a month. Additional expenses vary by person which include cell phone bill ($30 to $80 per month), transportation (If you buy a car you have to get a drivers license, pay for car insurance, and gas. Or a bus ride costs $2 every ride), and other expenses such as books for your classes and personal travel.

Visa and Immigration Information

What to do after receiving a DS-2019

After receiving the Acceptance letter and DS-2019 immigration document from the Office of International Education and Development at WOU, you will need to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. Click here for general information on the America.gov site about applying for a U.S. visa.

  • Make a visa appointment at the U.S. Embassy in your home country.
  • Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and receive a receipt.
  • Collect documentation for the visa interview such as, a current passport, the visa application and fee, your DS-2019 and acceptance letter, receipt of the I-901 fee, photos, and financial documentation. Contact your embassy directly for more detailed information.
  • At the interview you must demonstrate that you are a serious research scholar who is well informed about WOU, has a well-developed plan of study, know about the subject you plan to study and have a firm understanding of the English Language. You also need to demonstrate that you plan to return home after your program is complete.

What to do after receiving a visa

  • Inform Sarah Nagel and Office of International Education and Development at Western Oregon University that you received a visa and of your flight schedule to Portland International Airport (PDX) in Portland, Oregon; Include your name, if you will be needing an airport pick-up from Portland Airport or Salem, the name of the airline, flight number, and exact day and time of arrival.
  • Please see the Airport Pick-Up Dates and Flight Calendar when booking a flight to PDX. Scholars are required to come at the beginning of the term at the same time as regular international students (no more than 30 days before the Program Start Date on the DS-2019). This allows scholars to have time to get settled in housing, busy necessary items, meet with their faculty mentor, and have insurance charges added at the same time as the regular international students.
  • When booking your return flight to your home country, please note that once you reach the Program End Date on your DS-2019, you have only 30 days to travel within the US and prepare to depart. Following the Program End Date, once you leave the United States, you will need a new or different US visa in order to reenter.
  • Please review the Visiting Scholar Orientation Page, the Pre-Arrival and Orientation Guide, and the Current Student Handbook for information relevant to visiting scholars. Start to arrange for housing before you enter the U.S. Due to the small number of staff in our office, you will be primarily responsible for finding and applying for housing and getting your housing set up.

Things to remember: Take note of the Program Start Date on your DS-2019; know that you cannot come more than 30 days before or after the start date. If you need to change the program dates or cancel your research at WOU, contact the ISSA office.

What to do if your U.S. visa is denied

Your visa may be denied for many reasons, so it is important to ask the visa officer to have the reason for denial in writing. You may decide to bring additional evidence and try again for a visa. If you need additional support from the school or mentor, or if you need to defer the start date on the DS-2019 to a later date; contact the ISSA office immediately and we may be able to issue a new DS-2019 and Acceptance letter.

If you decide not to apply for a visa, or not use the WOU DS-2019, please destroy the DS-2019 and send an e-mail to the Responsible Officer saying that you wish to cancel your program to WOU.

The Home-country physical presence requirement 212e

Exchange Visitors admitted into the US on a J visa may be subject to the “Two-year foreign residence requirement of Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)”.

If you are subject to the two-year foreign residence requirement, you may not change your status to that of H, L, or K, or to immigrant or legal permanent status until you have fulfilled the two-year foreign residence requirement by going back to your home country or receiving a waiver of this requirement.

More information about the requirement and applying for a waiver is located on the Travel.State.Gov website.

Contact Information

Contact the Alternate Responsible Officer and Responsible Officer at Western Oregon University with any questions about the Exchange Visitor program.

Alternate Responsible Officer: Sarah Nagel         

Responsible Officer: Neng Yang

Phone: 503-838-8425    E-mail: global@wou.edu    Fax: 503-838-8338

Note: Please note that policies, costs, and procedures on this page are subject to change without notification.


International Education & Development ph:503-838-8425 fax:503-838-8338 | or e-mail: global@wou.edu

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