Each year, a number of visiting scholars from abroad spend time in residence at the University of Montana. Arrangements with visiting international scholars frequently begin with a general inquiry of interest in association with a particular department at UM. The appropriate first response is a direct and comprehensive letter to the prospective visiting scholar. The Office of International Programs (OIP) is willing to review a draft of this letter. The department chair and dean should be fully informed of any plans to invite visiting scholars.
The following items should be included in the letter:
- Request an updated curriculum vitae.
- Request that the prospective scholar submit an informative statement about the project(s) he or she proposes to work on at the University of Montana.
- University of Montana requires official documentation that the scholar has sufficient funds available to cover support for himself/herself and any accompanying family members. Request the amount and source of all funds available.
- A clear and explicit statement regarding the working conditions which can be made available to the visiting scholar (office space, telephone, computer and library access, etc.)
- Request the name, address and telephone number of someone who could be contacted in case of emergency during his/her stay in the US.
- Request the name, relationship, place and date of birth of all accompanying dependents.
- Find out if the international visitor has been in the U.S. previously and what type of visa was held.
After the prospective international scholar has provided all the information requested in your initial letter, it is appropriate to take the following actions if your department remains interested in the visiting arrangement:
- Identify the member of the faculty who will serve as the primary resource person for the scholar.
- Pursue appropriate housing arrangements. OIP occasionally has a furnished housing unit available for rent by a visiting international scholar. A number of deans also have housing units available for visiting scholars.
- International scholars are required to carry a comprehensive health-insurance policy for themselves and all accompanying family members for the entire duration of their stay in the US. Information about medical insurance plans for scholars is available at International Programs.
- To be admitted into the US or to transfer here from another US institution or program, a visiting scholar must present an authorized Form DS-2019 to the relevant US Embassy, consulate or INS office with local jurisdiction. Departments must complete the Request for issuance of Form DS-2019.