Gallaudet University is authorized by the United States Department of State to operate the Exchange Visitor Program under the categories of Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, and Student. The purpose of the program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. IA works closely with academic departments and faculty members to extend its resources on a selective basis in the spirit of institutional collegiality, fostering knowledge, and the exchange of information.

Gallaudet University hosts Exchange Visitors in the Student classification of associate, bachelor's, master's, doctorate, non-degree, and intern.

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.

A brief description of each of the categories follows:

  • 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 International Affairs.
  • 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.
  • 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 are not permitted.
  • A Student is an individual studying at Gallaudet University who is pursuing a full course of study leading to or culminating in the award of a degree, engaged full-time in a prescribed course of study of up to 24 months, engaged in academic training as permitted, or engaged in English language training.