Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Visiting International Scholar (VIS) program cost? +

The program is $1000.00 per month or discounted rate of $11,000.00 per year for a 12 month visit. Visits shorter than two weeks are free.

Are scholarships or funding available for the VIS program? +

Unfortunately, no. Our VIS program is self-funded and much of the cost of running the program is paid by the VIS program fee.

How much should I expect to pay whole I’m at UNC as a Visiting International Scholar? +

As per the U.S. State Department, the minimum amount of money each VIS has to show us in their bank accounts or other funding sources is $2000.00 per month for living expenses plus the $1000.00 per month for the program fee. Scholars whose spouses or children accompany them need to show an additional $800.00 per month for their spouse and $400.00 per child per month.  Additionally, the VIS needs to obtain health insurance that meets the U.S. State Department’s requirement for the VIS and family members.

Do you provide housing? +

No, the scholars are expected to find their own housing and it is not included in our fee. Airfare and other travel is also not included in our fee.

How long does it take to obtain my official acceptance and documentation to enter the United States? +

Usually, we can accept a potential VIS into the program within several weeks of receiving their application. However, due to shipping and processing times, obtaining the official DS-2019 can take several months.  We recommend that potential scholars start the process at least four to six months before they would like to arrive on campus.

Can my family members come with me? +

Yes, family members can join the visiting scholar under a J-2 visa.

Do I need to be a nurse or a nursing student? +

No, you don’t have to be a nurse or nursing student. However, you need to have a minimum of a master’s degree (or foreign equivalent) in a field related to your desired area of study.  Scholars with a bachelor’s degree and extensive experience in their field are also given consideration and eligible to apply.

What am I expected to do as a VIS? +

Each VIS works with their mentor to develop an overall study plan and focus area for their visit. They should have formulated these ideas before they get to UNC.  Once here, scholars can audit up to two course per semester, participate in relevant research, seminars, and other enrichment activities.  Scholars are not allowed to engage in practice or treatment of patients.

Is an English test score mandatory? +

There are two options where an English test is not needed.

1) If you completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree within the past 10 years at a recognized institution of higher learning in the U.S. a copy of the diploma or transcript indicating degree conferred will suffice.

2) If you graduated from a country outside the U.S. within the past 10 years where the language of instruction is English, an English transcript showing degree conferred and when is sufficient. If the transcript does not state the language of instructions were in English, you need to submit an official letter from the institution’s registrar confirming you attended the institution and the language of instruction was English.

If an English test is needed, you can use one of the approved English Tests listed below:

PLEASE NOTE:  These scores are the minimum required to meet the U.S. Department of State’s regulations for J-1 Exchange Visitors.

Who can I choose as my faculty mentor +

Any of the faculty members at UNC can potentially be your mentor. Determinations are made based on the desire of the scholar, area of study, and the faculty availability. Please suggest more than one mentor when you contact us.

Can I be involved in a practice while at UNC? +

No. The U.S. State Department regulations forbid nurses with a J-1 visa status from participating in clinical activities.

Can I audit a course while at UNC? +

Yes. All scholars can audit two courses per semester are highly encouraged to do so.  Audit courses do not count towards a degree, however, a certificate of completion is available upon request.