Visiting International Scholars Program
Welcoming scholars from around the world

Visiting International Scholars Program

Asset title

Hosting international scholars whose goals are consistent with Pittsburg State University and contributes to the richness of the experience for the visiting scholar as well as providing valuable contributions to the intellectual life of faculty, staff and students. The designation of “visiting scholar” is typically made for a minimum of three weeks and a maximum of one year. International scholars usually come to PSU in a number of ways:

  • Through collaborative research projects with a faculty member, or as a research or teaching associate for a department.
  • Through prior knowledge of individual faculty members and/or the reputation of the Department or the University.
  • Through referral from national or international funding agencies, foundations, Fulbright commissions, IREX, foreign universities, foreign embassies or other reputable national and international organizations. 
  • Through PSU partner institutions or other international initiatives.

Application Process

  • Identify a host faculty mentor at Pittsburg State University (academic programs)
  • Complete the Visiting International Scholar (VIS) application
  • Pay the $60 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Submit statement of interest
  • Submit curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Submit financial statement demonstrating support of VIS fees, living expenses and health insurance
  • Submit proof of English proficiency
  • Submit copy of passport

A completed application should be submitted to the department chair four months prior to the intended date of arrival.

Visiting International Scholar Fee

A VIS program fee of $1,500 for the first month and $500 for each additional month is required and must be paid in advance. In addition, the scholar must purchase the required health insurance and pay for his or her own living expenses. 

Invitation Letter

A letter of invitation will be sent to visiting scholar applicants from the department chair when the completed application materials have been received, reviewed, and approved. This process also includes securing a department faculty mentor and may take 3-4 weeks. Visiting scholar appointments will be granted on the basis of departmental and faculty mentor availability and on the appropriate match with a faculty mentor, and alignment with the University’s needs.

Length of Stay

Visiting scholars may visit the University for up to one year. Some faculty may not be available to work with visiting scholars during the summer months. It is important that an early understanding be established about the proposed length of stay.

English Proficiency

Although there is no minimum English language requirement, scholars must have a sufficient understanding of English to be successful in the exchange project or program and for day-to-day living in the U.S. English language proficiency must be verified by interview, academic documentation or English language test score (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Duolingo). The scholar may attend PSU's Intensive English Program for an additional payment of tuition. 


A visiting international scholar needs to:

  • Acquire a department faculty mentor who agrees to provide guidance on a chosen project (a department chair may assist the international scholar in this process).
  • Be fully funded with financial resources outside Pittsburg State University and assume financial responsibility for visa processing fees. Financial support can come from home country sources, grants, or personal funds.
  • Provide health insurance individually, and for any accompanying family members for the duration of the agreed upon time period.
  • Be responsible for securing housing arrangements for themselves, and any accompanying family members.
  • Attend an orientation program upon arrival. A tuberculosis (TB) test is also required upon arrival from the Student Health Center. 
  • Participate in campus, community and cultural programs. 

Summary of Steps

  1. Identify and contact faculty mentor within host department
  2. Submit application materials
  3. The host department chair (in consultation with the Office of International Programs and Services) reviews application with the faculty mentor who may request a Zoom/Skype interview with the applicant. The final decision about the application rests with the department chair.
  4. If approved, a formal letter of invitation is provided to the applicant from the department chair.
  5. Applicant pays the VIS program fee.  
  6. Upon issuance of the letter of invitation and receiving the VIS fee, the Office of International Programs and Services will provide the DS-2019 for a visa application. 
  7. Applicant applies for the J1 visa
  8. Once a visa is obtained, the applicant makes travel arrangements and housing arrangements. 
  9. Applicant must report to the Office of International Programs and Services upon arrival. 


For more information, contact the Office of International Programs and Services at 620-235-4680 or