High Tech with a Human Touch
J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
Department Responsibilities Under the J Exchange Visitor Program
Exchanges of faculty and scholars under the J1 Exchange Visitor Program involve significant commitment and responsibility for the hosting department, the University, and the individual(s) initiating the exchange. These commitments and responsibilities arise from legal requirements under US Department of State regulations and ethical norms in hosting guests who are far from home.
Participants in exchanges range from Florida Tech employees to students to research scholars; many are hosted largely as a courtesy while they pursue their own research interests. While appropriate preparations and services for these visitors vary greatly within the 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 is responsible for initiating communications with the ISSS 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 visitor checks in at the ISSS Office upon arrival or the following business day.
Scholars and faculty members should not be invited to teach or pursue research at Florida Tech unless it can be documented that the visitor will have appropriate funding while participating in the exchange program. Financial documentation from whatever source is required prior to being deemed eligible for the exchange program so that they will not experience financial difficulty during their period of stay at Florida Tech.
The US Department of State stipulates that all J Exchange Visitors are required to maintain insurance. This cost should be considered when determining funds needed for the entire period of the visitors stay. If the visitor does not have health insurance, the ISSS Office can sign the visitor up for the Florida Tech campus insurance. If the visitor has their own insurance coverage, proof must be submitted to the ISSS Office.
- Faculty Contact Person
The Florida Tech hosting department should designate a faculty contact person well in advance of the visitors arrival (this person is usually the one who initiated the J visitor exchange paperwork). This person serves as the primary contact to help answer any questions and to correspond with the exchange visitor before their arrival at Florida Tech.
This faculty contact person should consult with the ISSS Office early in the process to ensure that the visitor has proper documentation to meet US visa and immigration requirements. This includes providing assistance in gathering the requirement documentation for the preparation of immigration documents (DS-2019).
This faculty person is responsible for introducing the visitor to other members of the host department, providing a briefing as appropriate on the university, any academic duties, resources and activities available both on and off campus to the visitor and their family if applicable.
- 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 before the visitor arrives at Florida Tech. Teaching duties should be outlined well in advance, including arrangements for ordering books for courses. Research goals should be agreed upon outlining the objectives and interests of the host and visitor and ensuring that the research can be carried out and completed within the time limits of the visit.
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 be provided in locating appropriate final accommodations.
- Facilities, Office, and Research Space
The host department should ensure that the visitor will have adequate and appropriate office space and should inform the visitor about such space and other facilities to be made available. Information concerning secretarial support, computer labs, e-mail, etc. should also be discussed prior to arrival.
- Travel to and around Melbourne
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 (or long-term) accommodations. As much as 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 visitors experience while at Florida Tech.
- Supervision and Oversight
The host department is responsible for appropriate supervision and evaluation of the exchange faculty and research scholars. The department must inform the ISSS Office of any deviation from the visitors program as described in the visitor's immigration documents.
The department must notify the ISSS Office of the departure of the exchange visitor.
- Social and Cultural Events
The host department, together with the ISSS Office, should ensure that the visitor and family receive invitations to appropriate social and cultural functions.