Visiting International Scholars

Wesleyan University welcomes visiting international scholars in order to foster scholarly and pedagogical debate and exchange between Wesleyan faculty and colleagues from all areas of the world. Invitations are extended in accordance with Wesleyan faculty interest and they are predicated on the potential for the visitor’s full integration into the intellectual and social fabric of our community. It is therefore understood that such invitations will issue from the host department and that a faculty member from that department will serve as the visiting scholar’s mentor.

Offering support and hospitality are essential for the success of hosting international visiting scholars. The protocols outlined herein are designed to identify the network of resources that should be coordinated in order to ensure that such levels of support and hospitality are achieved. The content below outlines campus processes and it includes a number of useful links, templates, and resources for the faculty who host an international scholar and for our visitors as well. 

  • Hosting International Visiting Scholars

    At Wesleyan University, international visiting scholars are hosted by an academic department:

      • Faculty may apply to host an international visiting scholar once their department has identified an office where the visitor will be able to work.
      • The formal request to host an international visitor should be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs by the Dean at least three months before the anticipated start date in order to ensure appropriate time for the visa process to take place. The request should include the scholar’s CV, as well as details of the visit (dates, what research will be conducted, who will be the sponsoring faculty member, and that a J-1 visa will be needed). Please note that appointments must be for a minimum of one month.
      • Staff from the Office of Academic Affairs will send the official letter of invitation, along with the J-1 Visa Sponsorship Application, instructions, and initial hiring forms for background check, and Wesleyan account creation. These documents will be sent via email and will require the favor of a written acceptance from the visiting scholar in order to initiate the hiring process. Click here to see the J-1 Visa Overview.
  • Prior to Arrival
    • In addition to confirming acceptance of the invitation, the incoming scholar should work with the faculty member serving as their mentor (or faculty sponsor as indicated on the J-1 Application) to complete the J-1 Application, sign, and return with the required documents listed in order to initiate the visa process.
    • Upon receiving all required documents and the signed J-1 Application, Staff from the Office of Academic Affairs will request the DS-2019 and send required information via email to the scholar for paying the SEVIS fee and scheduling an interview via email, along with tracking information for the official DS-2019 and J-1 Welcome Packet.
    • The Welcome Packet will include documents that discuss rules and regulations set by the Department of State that scholar must follow pre/post arrival while in the United States, along with information regarding rental housing options, and resources regarding transportation, local grocery, etc.
    • Non-Native English speaking scholars will be required to produce evidence of their command of English (a minimum score on the TOEFL exam, for instance). The host department should make sure that scholars are aware of this requirement prior to initiating the application, so as to avoid unexpected impediments.
    • As a matter of courtesy, host departments are encouraged to monitor to application process since it can be a challenging process. Host departments are also encouraged to develop their own “Welcome to Wesleyan” letter (click here for template) for mailing to the visitor once the visa application is submitted. This letter should refer the visitor to the page on the Wesleyan web site with a host of practical information concerning campus life and Middletown. The letter should highlight specifically suggestions regarding arrival to Middletown and housing options.*
    • In anticipation of the visitor’s arrival, it would be useful for the host department to discuss strategies for facilitating the visitor’s integration into the Wesleyan community (e.g., opportunities for the visitor to share their research, outreach to interested faculty in other department, opportunities for interacting with interested students and staff).

    *Housing Options include:

    • Wesleyan University web page on Area Lodging.
    • Campus housing options for faculty and staff through the Wesleyan Rental Properties web page.
    • Listings for non-university housing can be found posted through the Wesleyan Classifieds web site:
    • More posting are also available through Craigslist, which is an open source tool for both renters and land lords to post individual rooms or apartments for rent on a short-term or long-term basis.
  • Arrival & Orientation
    • The faculty sponsor should meet with the scholar to discuss expectations, research plans, etc. upon the scholar’s arrival.
    • The host department should ensure that visitors attend to the following urgent matters once they arrive:
      • meet with a designated individual so as to validate their arrival in the J-1 visa system;
      • process WesCard ID on the first floor of North College (Staff from the Office of Academic Affairs will provide this form to the scholar during the initial J-1 validation);
      • access Wesleyan email account after receiving credentials from Jennifer Bomar during J-1 validation.
    • On-campus orientation is a multi-pronged process involving various resources.
      • The host department should orient the visitor regarding departmental resources (material and online) and arrange for introductions to colleagues. It should review relevant departmental and university policies and procedures, such as office hours and work schedule.
      • The faculty mentor should consider scheduling appointments with Academic Computing staff in order to ensure the visitor’s familiarity with such on-line resources as WesPortal.
      • The host department should consider scheduling an appointment with a reference librarian in order to facilitate the visitor’s access to scholarly materials and resources available through Olin.
      • The host department may schedule a campus tour for the visitor through the Admissions office
      • The host department should provide the visitor with emergency contact information and request the same from the visitor.
  • Connecting to Campus Resources & Community

    As indicated, the host department will oversee our visitor’s orientation and will help to facilitate connections with other colleagues outside of the department. Visiting scholars make choose to access independently many of the resources and support (click here) available to the Wesleyan faculty.

    In addition to pursuing their own research objectives while at Wesleyan, visiting scholars may wish to consider some of the following options for connecting to the Wesleyan community: 

  • Traveling to Campus, Local Transit & Life in Middletown

    For directions to campus, is it best to refer this university resource that outlines the many routes and options.

    When planning your trip to campus from a local airport (including JFK International in New York City, NY or BDL in Hartford, CT) many travelers use CT Limo as a mode of transportation. Travelers are welcome to take a cab or other car service as well, but please be aware of costs.

    For those arriving from EWR International in Newark, NJ, travelers can use the Amtrak Train to travel directly from the Newark Airport to New Haven, CT. Those traveling from New Haven to Middletown, often take a cab or use another car service. For other local transportation options, please visit this university resource for Area Transportation.

    For a list of important sites and locations in Middletown, click here for a list of resources, which includes banks, grocery, pharmacy, and more for visiting international scholars to be aware of while at Wesleyan University.