LSU to Welcome International Exchange Visitors With Reception

11/11/2013 04:26 PM

BATON ROUGE – On Thursday, Nov. 14, the office of International Programs, through the International Service unit, will host a welcome reception honoring nearly 100 Exchange Visitors currently at LSU.  

The event will be held at the LSU Union in the Atchafalaya room from 9-10:30 a.m. The LSU College of Engineering is co-sponsoring the reception. College deans and a number of faculty and staff involved in international education have been invited. The event coincides with International Education Week, which falls on the third week of November each year, when more than 100 countries celebrate the benefits of international education.    

Exchange visitors come to the United States on a J-1/J-2 Exchange Visitor visa. The J Exchange Visitor visa program was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. The overall purpose of that act, and the objective of the exchange visitor program, is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. Entities become exchange visitor program sponsors by applying for designation from the Department of State. LSU is designated as an exchange visitor program sponsor, and hosts them, primarily in the research scholar category.    

LSU’s exchange visitor program is administered through the International Service office, which hosts nearly 100 exchange visitors from around the world at any given time. Over the course of a given year, more than 150 exchange visitors will have participated. These scholars come to LSU to conduct research, teach, train and observe. Currently, LSU is hosting more than 90 exchange visitors from across the globe

Two-thirds of the exchange visitors are funded by their home government, home university or self-funded, while the other third are paid by LSU. The majority of these visitors are male, mid-career professionals in their home countries, come to engage in close collaboration with LSU faculty and researchers. Some visitors are graduate students in their home country, come to LSU to gain practical knowledge working under the supervision and mentorship of an experienced professor or researcher. They return to their home institutions and use the acquired knowledge to further their studies or write theses. Roughly a third of visitors bring family members with them, and the average stay is about one year. Although, in many situations, the collaborations with LSU faculty often continue for many years after the visitors return to their home countries. The College of Science hosts the most visitors, followed by the College of Engineering and the School of Veterinary Medicine.  

The presence of exchange visitors at LSU promotes diversity and awareness of other cultures, peoples and languages; and a greater understanding, appreciation, and respect for other cultures. LSU’s exchange visitor program provides valuable educational, research and cultural experiences for both visitors and the LSU community.

For more information on the exchange visitor program, or other international programs at LSU, visit

Billy  Gomila 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013