About the Exchange Visitor Program

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. 

Gallaudet University is authorized by the United States Department of State to operate the Exchange Visitor program under the following categories: Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, and Student. A brief description of each of the categories is included below.  

Research Scholar

A Research Scholar is an individual whose primary purpose for coming to Gallaudet University is to conduct research, observe, or consult. They may also teach or lecture. Visa holders in this category are allowed to remain in the United States for up to five years on a J-1 visa. Accepting paid employment outside of Gallaudet University is not generally permitted; if seeking paid employment outside of Gallaudet University, permission must be sought from OIPS.

To read about some past Research Scholars at Gallaudet University, click here

Short-Term Scholar

A Short-Term Scholar is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or background who would like to come to Gallaudet University on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, demonstrating special skills, or performing collaborative research. This is an ideal category for many short-term programs and visits lasting anywhere from one day to a maximum of six months, depending on the time needed to complete the objective. Extensions are not permitted.

To read about some past Scholars at Gallaudet University, click here. 


A Specialist is an individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill and would like to come to Gallaudet University to observe, consult, or demonstrate special skills. This category provides a foreign specialist the opportunity to observe Gallaudet University and methods of practice in the field of Deaf education, audiology, sign language teaching, sign language linguistics research, psychology and deafness, and/or Deaf family centered education. Specialist visa holders may stay for the length of time necessary to complete their program, up to one year. Extensions beyond the 1-year program are not permitted.


The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and then return home to share their experiences. Gallaudet University hosts exchange visitors in the Student classification of associate, bachelors, masters, doctorate, non-degree, and intern.

An Exchange Visitor in the Student category is an individual who is:

1. Studying at Gallaudet University under one or more of the following conditions

a. Pursuing a full course of study leading to or culminating in the award of a degree; or 
b. Engaged full-time in a prescribed course of study of up to 24 months

An Exchange Visitor in this category is partially or wholly funded by his/her own government, the U.S. government, or Gallaudet University, and must attend orientation during the semester of his/her arrival at Gallaudet University. He or she is expected to register for a full course load each semester: 9 credits as a graduate student, or 12 credits as an undergraduate student.

2. Engaged in academic training as permitted

3. Engaged in English language training

 To read about some past Scholars at Gallaudet University, click here. 


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