Mentors for Visiting Faculty and Researchers


Mentors for Visiting Faculty and Researchers

The sponsoring academic department will assign a faculty or staff mentor who will assist the visiting scholar with the logistics of settling into their role on campus and in the San Luis Obispo community. This may include assisting them with housing, transportation, office needs, and access to campus resources. This may also include assisting with finding the appropriate schools for accompanying children to attend. The mentor is also responsible to be sure the visitor checks in with the International Center upon arrival and upon departure.

In-Person Requirement

J-1 visa regulations require exchange visitors to participate in their activities primarily in person. With no more than 40% of activity conducted virtually. So this means that 60% of the time or three out of five days a week they need to be physically present at their prescribed site(s) of activity. If there are off-campus sites of activity, these need to be pre-approved and added to the DS-2019.

English Language

U.S. Department of State regulations also require that the sponsor will evaluate the Visitor’s English language skills to determine that the visitor has sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis.

Use one of the following “objective measurements of English language proficiency” to determine an applicant’s language proficiency:

  • A recognized English language test;
  • Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school; or
  • A documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option

The mentor must supply to the International Center evidence of how they measured applicants’ English language proficiency so that it may be made available to the Department upon request.