International Scholars

Hosting international visitors, whether for research, teaching, or a combination, contributes greatly to Rollins College’s mission of global citizenship.

Information for Academic Departments

Academic Departments bringing an international scholar to Rollins College should consult with Human Resources and the Office of International Student & Scholar Services (OISSS) on the process of immigration sponsorship of a scholar. Departments should review and follow the Guidelines for Hosting an International Visitor.

International scholars typically are short-term scholars, research scholars, or professors coming to Rollins for a short-term, non-tenure track appointment. If bringing a visitor for a single lecture or two and the visitor can secure a B1 visitor for business visa, the scholar would not need to work with OISSS. However, departments will find good recommendations in the Guidelines. If in doubt about which visa is appropriate, consult with OISSS or Human Resources.

Information for Scholars

  • DS-2019 Request Form B
    Scholars must complete and submit this form to OISSS at least 2-3 months prior to their intended arrival date. The following must be attached to the form:
    1. Scan of valid passport of scholar and dependents, if applicable
    2. Evidence of financial support if funding is not being provided by Rollins.
  • International Scholar's Go-To Guide
    Helpful information on immigration, health insurance, financial arrangements, etc.

Exchange Visitor Program

The scholar visa is a part of the Exchange Visitor Program. The U.S. Department of State administers this program under the provisions of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended. The Act promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. The Exchange Visitor Program provides foreign nationals opportunities to participate in exchange programs in the United States with the expectation that on completion of their exchange program, they will return home to share their experiences.

Exchange Visitor Program Contact Information

U.S. Department of State, Office of Designation Academic and Government
Programs Division
301 4th Street SW, Room 668
Washington, DC 20547-4406

Tel: 202-632-6445
Fax: 202-632-270X

Two-year home residency requirement:

Pursuant to the Immigration and Naturalization Act, § 212(e); 22 CFR, exchange visitors may be subject to a two-year home country residence requirement in which they must “reside and be physically present” in their “home” country for an aggregate of two years before being eligible for certain immigration benefits. While they are subject to 212(e), aliens are ineligible for the following benefits: INA § 212(e); 22 C.F.R.

  • An immigrant visa or adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (immigrant/green card) status;
  • An H visa (temporary workers and dependents), an L visa (intracompany transferees and dependents), or a K visa (fiancé and dependents);
  • To change their non-immigrant status within the United States from J to any other non-immigrant category except A (diplomatic), G (international organization), or U (victims of qualifying criminal activity) statuses.

Which exchange visitors are subject to 212(e)?

Not all exchange visitors are subject to the two-year home residence requirement. There are three grounds on which an exchange visitor can become subject:

  • If the exchange visitor’s participation in an exchange program was financed, directly or indirectly, by the United States government or a foreign government for the purpose of exchange;
  • If the skills that the exchange visitor is coming to develop or exercise are in a field which the exchange visitor’s “home” government requested be included on the State Department Exchange Visitor skills list;
  • The exchange visitor comes to the United States to receive “graduate medical education or training.”

An exchange visitor who falls into one of these groups will continue to be subject, even if funding or field of study changes. If the principal J-1 exchange visitor is subject to the two-year residence requirement, all dependents who enter the United States in J-2 status are subject to it as well.

Choosing an Arrival Date

The program start date on your Form DS-2109 is based on the Form DS-2019 Request Form completed by the sponsoring department. Scholars are required to enter the U.S. by the program start date. However, they may enter as early as 30 days prior to the date.

  • Please notify us by email of your planned arrival date and time.
  • If arriving before arranging local housing, there are many hotels near campus.

Financial Arrangements

Scholars should review the invitation letter issued by the sponsoring department to be clear about whether they have been offered any financial support (salary, stipend, in-kind support such as housing, insurance, etc.) from Rollins College. If scholars are sponsored by themselves or another organization, they should have access to funds as soon as possible so that they can support themselves upon arrival. Scholars should expect the cost of living in Orlando to differ from their home country. It is required that they have finances to support themselves based on the estimate provided in the DS-2019 Request Form. Scholars should use the Living Wage Calculator to calculate the estimate of expenses for a spouse or dependent children.


Scholars are responsible for securing their own housing for the duration of their program. Some scholars may have access to college housing, depending on availability. Scholars should work with their sponsoring department to arrange college housing, if available. If college housing is not available, it is recommended that scholars consider a temporary housing arrangement for their immediate needs while exploring the local area upon arrival. Housing costs can vary greatly depending on the size of the accommodation. The estimated living expenses on the DS-2019 Request Form should accommodate these living expenses, plus food, transportation, and personal expenses on a conservative budget.

Health Insurance

Please note that all international scholars and their dependents are required to show proof of health insurance throughout their entire program. Depending on the offer by the sponsoring department, scholars may or may not be offered health insurance as part of their compensation package. If scholars are offered health insurance by Rollins College, they should confirm this with Human Resources. If they have not been offered insurance protection as part of sponsorship, they will need to purchase a policy that meets the following requirements as determined by the U.S. Department of State:

A. Minimum Insurance Coverage Insurance shall cover:
(1) medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness;
(2) repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; and
(3) expenses associated with medical evaluation in the amount of $50,000.

B. Additional Terms: A policy secured to fulfill the insurance requirements shall not have a deductible that exceeds $500 per accident or illness and must meet other standards specified in the regulations.

C. Maintenance of Insurance: Willful failure on a scholar’s part to maintain the required insurance throughout their stay in the United States will result in the termination of their exchange program.

A list of insurance companies that can provide an insurance policy that meets the above requirements will be sent with the Form DS-2019. The premiums will vary by provider.

Immigration & Customs

What to carry with you when traveling to the U.S

  • Passport
  • Rollins invitation letter
  • Rollins contact phone numbers
    OISSS: 407-691-1158
    Campus Safety: 407-646-2999
  • Form DS-2019
  • Proof of SEVIS fee payment
  • Copies of financial support documentation

What to expect at the port of entry?

  • Passport, DS-2019, and luggage will be inspected.
  • Issuance of instructions on how to print Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, required a proof of status to various other government agencies. After entering the U.S., visit to verify that entry was entered correctly with a classification of J-1 and an expiration of D/S.

Scholar Orientation

Rollins College hosts a mandatory International Scholar Orientation for all new scholars.

New international scholars at Rollins represent a unique and treasured new addition to our community. To provide scholars with the tools and information necessary for a successful transition to the U.S., Florida, and Rollins, we provide this special orientation covering issues that are particular to international scholars.

Once scholars have determined their arrival date, they should arrange their orientation with the office. The orientation will take about 2-3 hours.

Topics to be covered:

  • Immigration status and responsibilities
  • Getting started in the U.S. (social security numbers, driver’s licenses, bank accounts)
  • Health insurance and health care
  • Understanding employment eligibility in the U.S.
  • Life at Rollins and beyond

Cultural Programming

The Office of International Student & Scholar Services provides a variety of social and cultural programs during the academic year. These programs introduce the international student and scholar community to the history, culture, and experiences of Central Florida. In addition, the programs provide students and scholars the opportunity to share their country, culture, and worldview with their host community. Scholars and their families are welcome to join all events. The programs will be advertised via MyRollins portal and social media.