International Services
J Scholar Information

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program brings qualified international faculty, professors, research scholars, specialists, and other professionals to the United States to participate in educational and cultural programs.  The University of South Florida has been approved by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to serve as the visa sponsor for international visitors to participate in research, teaching, consulting, and observation at USF and its affiliates.

An Exchange Visitor or J Scholar at USF is a foreign national who is coming temporarily to the United States for the purpose of educational and cultural exchange, NOT EMPLOYMENT. The principal exchange visitor obtains a J-1 visa; the spouse and minor children obtain J-2 visas.

The University of South Florida uses the following Exchange Visitor categories:

Professor:
An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at USF from 3 weeks to 5 years in duration.  This is not for a USF tenure track position.  The individual may also conduct research if stated in the application process. The visiting professor must a Bachelor's degree at a minimum that matches the planned academic activity at USF.

Research Scholar:
An individual primarily conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with a research at USF from 3 weeks to 5 years in duration.  This is not for a USF tenure track position. The visiting scholar must a Bachelor's degree at a minimum that matches the planned academic activity at USF.

Short-term Scholar:
A professor, research scholar,  or other individual  with similar education or accomplishments coming to USF for a short-term visit of 1 day to 6 months for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating a special skill at USF.  The individual must have a Bachelor’s degree at a minimum that matches the planned academic activity at USF.

Specialist:
An individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to USF for observing, consulting, or demonstrating this knowledge or skill for three weeks to one year.   The individual can receive a stipend if arranged prior to the visit but cannot fill a line position at USF.

SCHOLAR COSTS:

Scholars must show adequate financial support for all living expenses, including additional financial support for any accompanying family members.   Estimate Expenses for One Year:

Housing & Meals* $17808
Health Insurance $2371
Other expenses** $4776
TOTAL $24,955

Plus $5000 per year per dependent.
*includes utilities (electricity, water, gas, phone, internet, cable TV) $100 - $200 per month.  Often part of rent.
**other expenses include transportation and miscellaneous personal expenses (such as laundry, toiletries, clothing, & entertainment.)

Sample costs:

  • Personal Care Products/Toiletries - $35 per month
  • Laundry costs $1.00 to wash and $1.00 to dry at most laundromats.
  • Taxi rates in Tampa are $2.50 plus $2.40 per mile.
  • Uber/Lyft rates in Tampa are $1.25 plus 13 center per mile

The university charges no direct fees. The following university services have costs.



USF Department Responsibilities When Sponsoring J-1 Exchange Visitors (Scholars)
  • Supervise the academic activity during the scholar’s stay at USF.
  • Arrange for office space and access to equipment (computer, phone, etc) as deemed appropriate for the academic activity.
  • Provide the Office of International Services (OIS), International Scholar Advisor with accurate program, funding, and other related information throughout the duration of the J-1’s program at USF.  This includes:
    • Cancellation, termination or early completion of the scholar’s program
    • Significant changes in position/project
    • Changes in funding sources and amounts
    • Intent to transfer to another USF department, faculty member, or sponsor
    • Plans to change immigration status
  • "Ensure that the activity in which the exchange visitor is engaged is consistent with the category and activity listed on the exchange visitor's Form DS-2019." [22 CFR 62.10(e)(1)]. This means that the scholar should maintain their original program objectives as indicated on the initial DS-2019 request and form.
  • Encourage the scholar to participate in cultural exchange activities offered by USF World and the OIS to ensure compliance with Department of State’s requirements.
  • Scholars, whether classified as USF paid or non-paid, have the same access to benefits and rights as any USF employee. This includes but is not limited to:
    • Attendance and overtime policies and typical hours of operation within their department and/or lab.
      • Full-time employment is generally considered working 30 to 50 hours per week.  (Hours worked should not exceed more than 50 hours per week.)
      • Non-paid scholars should track hours spent in their academic activity in a timesheet that is signed off by the sponsoring supervisor.
      • Awareness of vacation and other types of leave available such as vacation, sick leave, family or medical leave, and funeral or death leave.
      • Scholars accrue leave hours in accordance with HR policies.
    • Office of International Services should be notified of scholar’s absenteeism.
      • If there has been no contact with the scholar for at least 24 hours, the OIS, International Scholar Advisor, should be notified immediately.
      • If there has been contact with the scholar, but they have been absent for five days with no valid reason, the OIS, International Scholar Advisor, should be notified.
    • Safe and clean working conditions
    • Receive the necessary training to perform job functions
    • Be aware of harassment and sexual harassment policies
    • Inclusion in meetings, seminars, and other department activities
    • Retaliation and threat of retaliation policies will not be tolerated
  • Scholars can be accompanied by dependents (spouse and/or children under the age of 21).  Scholars must have sufficient funds to support each dependent and maintain health insurance coverage.
  • Update USF Export Control if any changes occur to the scholar’s program that may affect export compliance.
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