Every year, the School of Nursing welcomes dozens of visitors from around the globe through our Visiting International Scholars (VIS) program.

Whether a graduate student working toward a degree or an experienced professional looking to enhance a particular skill-set, the VIS program offers nursing professionals in all stages of their careers a chance to be mentored by one of UNC’s world-renowned faculty through an individualized study-plan suited to their professional goals. The relationships developed during this experience benefit both the faculty mentor and visiting scholar as both work towards a new understanding for patient care, research, and education.

Every visiting scholar’s time at UNC is unique. Visits vary in length from as short as two weeks to over a year. In addition to working closely with their faculty-mentor, VIS have the opportunity to audit up to two courses per semester to enhance their studies.  Scholars are likewise encouraged to participate in any of the relevant and numerous seminars and workshops that are held around campus.

UNC is home to a vibrant international community, and scholars always have the support of on-campus organizations and staff to help them adjust to life away from home. VIS have the opportunity to participate fully in activities on campus and to enjoy the local flavor of Chapel Hill and the surrounding area with its festivals and unique culture.

Please read on to find out more about our VIS program, and begin by filling out our application. Also, make sure to check out our list of faculty members, searchable by specialty, to help you in your search for a suitable mentor.  If you are a university official interested in setting up a visit for a larger group, please contact us at songlobalhealth@unc.edu.

We understand that navigating the rules and requirements for studying abroad can be very difficult.  That’s why we strive to make the application process as easy as possible for anyone interested in attending UNC as a Visiting International Scholar.

Below you will find a list of documents needed to apply to our program beginning with our application.  Please send all correspondence to songlobalhealth@unc.edu.

  • Application 
  • Current CV
  • Two signed letters of reference on official letter head of the corresponding organization
    • One from the Dean or a faculty member at your university
    • One from your immediate supervisor
  • A writing sample describing your goals and expectations for your visit, as well as, any scholarly projects that you would like to complete during your stay at UNC. The writing sample should be between ½ and 1 page long, typed, single-spaced.

After you materials have been reviewed we will contact you to set up an interview via Skype.  We use this opportunity to get to know you better, as well as, a test of your English language skills (don’t worry, there are no wrong answers!) so you don’t have to obtain official certification from another source.  If all goes well, you will receive an email with the following documents enclosed:

  • Your invitation letter to the Visiting International Scholar Program
  • A release of liability form regarding your status at the University
  • The DS-2019 Part II form
  • A J-1 insurance informational handout

If you aren’t familiar with these documents right now, don’t worry.  Our invitation letter will explain in greater detail what these items are and which ones need to be signed and returned to us.  From there we will begin to process your DS-2019 paperwork which you will use to obtain you J-1 visa from the U.S. consulate in your country.  Click here for more information about the J-1 requirements.

Along the way, if you have any questions, you can always reach out to us.  We are here and happy to help.

The Visiting International Scholar program costs $1,000.00 (USD) per month.  This fee includes faculty-mentor instruction, library usage, programs set up costs, course auditing fee, some special event or seminar costs, access to office space and working supplies.  Scholars who stay for one year (12 months) receive a discounted price of $11,000.00 for the program.

This fee does not cover travel (airfare or ground), food, lodging, or mandatory insurance coverage of which the scholar is responsible.  Because we are a self-funded program, we are unable to offer Visiting International Scholars any scholarships or price reductions during their stay at UNC.  However, most of our applicants receive financial assistance from their native governments or universities and we will gladly send you the applicable supporting documentation you request to help meet your funding needs.

Want to know what is expected of our Visiting Scholars while they are here? Or do you need a refresher on some of the policies around campus? Go ahead and review our VIS Orientation Power Point.

Preparing to spend an extended period of time is certainly very difficult.  Feel free to use the sites listed below as a starting point in your search as you look at what all the Chapel Hill area has to offer.

Please note, the School of Nursing and UNC don’t officially endorse any of the products, companies, or websites listed here.  This list is intended for reference only.

The following are options for getting around Chapel Hill and the local area:

Below is a partial list of stores that sell groceries and household wares.  A more expansive list is available once you are on campus.

Your home’s location will dictate which utility groups you will work with. The following is just reference.

Here are a list of resources to check out all of what Chapel Hill and the state of North Carolina have to offer.

UNC is home to lots of student groups who can help visiting scholars transition to life in Chapel Hill.  Below is just a small sample of the groups at the University.  If you are looking for something specific, please let us know.  We’ll be happy to help you out.