International scholars who wish to come to VCU must find a VCU faculty member and department willing to host them on campus and should agree with the faculty sponsor and the department on the terms of their visit: nature of the work, length of stay, etc. Following that, the appropriate U.S. visa must be obtained, and the scholar should secure housing in Richmond. ISSP can help with the visa process and with practical concerns like finding housing, setting up a bank account, getting health insurance, and the like. Please email ISSP@vcu.edu for information.
A few things to keep in mind:
- The first step in getting the visa process started is to contact GEO Office of International Student and Scholar Programs (ISSP) by emailing ISSP@vcu.edu. ISSP staff will work with you to determine the most appropriate visa category depending on the kind and duration of activity. Family members traveling with you will also need visas. Visit our section on immigration for more information.
- The Global Education Office can often help arrange affordable and convenient housing on or near campus for visiting scholars. Please email ISSP@vcu.edu to set up a conversation about your particular housing needs. Visit our section on housing for more information.
- International scholars must be covered by health insurance. Insurance needs of visiting international scholars will vary by visa type. ISSP can assist you in understanding the U.S. healthcare system and the insurance options available and in selecting appropriate coverage. Please email ISSP@vcu.edu for information. Visit our section on health insurance for more information.
- International scholars are subject to special rules about immunization and tuberculosis testing. Questions should be directed to an ISSP advisor at ISSP@vcu.edu.
- GEO provides international scholars with many opportunities to engage directly with the local community, allowing them to get to know American culture firsthand. Engagement staff in ISSP assist scholars with everything from settling into life in Richmond and basic support services to volunteer opportunities and social activities. ISSP pairs scholars with community families and sponsors social events and travel opportunities. Details may be found on the GEO website at or by contacting any ISSP advisor.
- Many international scholars face cultural and linguistic challenges, and often ISSP can help. Email ISSP@vcu.edu to set up an appointment with an advisor.