Welcome Scholars

We suggest that you contact your department to give them your anticipated arrival date and time. If you will not be met at the airport by someone from the university please refer to the transportation link on our web site for information on how to get to Amherst and for housing options. Keep in mind that regular office hours at the university are Monday-Friday from 8:30AM-4:30PM. EducationUSA can help with your visit.

The office assists faculty and staff in bringing international scholars to campus and offers services to them once they have arrived. We advise on immigration matters, issue visa documents, and provide information and guidance on issues such as employment, health insurance, language courses, programs for spouses, and general information about UMass and the Amherst area. Shortly after your arrival at UMass, you should make an appointment to see Nancy Condon at the International Programs Office. You may email Nancy at nac[at]ipo.umass[dot]edu to book an appointment with her. Additionally, we would like to have your local address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

The University of Massachusetts is proud to sponsor over 300 Visiting Scholars and their families from approximately 40 different countries. These individuals have greatly enriched the campus and community life of Amherst and its surrounding towns. Scholars arrive year round and stay in the U.S. from three weeks to five years.

The general purpose of this program is to promote international education and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

An exchange visitor (EV) can come primarily to conduct research, observe or consult with a research project and/or teach and lecture. Depending on the circumstances they may come in the category of research scholar, professor, short-term scholar or specialist. Proof of funding must be demonstrated and can come from the home country, personal funding or university sponsorship.

In all cases, the EV must be issued a DS-2019 by the International Programs Office.

Under certain specific circumstances there may be a two-year home residency requirement. If this applies, the EV (J-1) and dependents (J-2) cannot change status to another classification such as  H1B or a green card  until this requirement is satisfied or a waiver is obtained.

The DS-2019: Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitors is what is used to obtain a J-1 visa at an American Embassy or Consulate abroad to enter the U.S.

Prior to getting a visa at the Embassy or Consulate a fee of $180 must be paid to and a receipt received by the Department of Homeland Security.

Spouses and children (under 21) of the J-1 will be issued a J-2 visa. Dependents over 15 may apply for permission to work after they arrive in the United States.

There is an international women's program, Round the World Women, that meets once a week during the academic year. Children are welcome.

The sponsoring department at UMass should contact the Advisor for Visiting Scholars Nancy Condon, or 413-545-2843 with any questions and to obtain the necessary application papers for inviting scholars.