Cultural Exchange Opportunties

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was created through the Fulbright–Hays Act of 1961, with the goal of building and strengthening peaceful relations between the United States and people of other countries. The J-1 visa is intended to allow participation in programs that promote educational and cultural exchange.

As Program Sponsor, Georgia State University has the responsibility of creating a welcoming, safe, and supportive space which allows J1 Exchange Visitors to reach their program objectives. It is also our duty to promote and provide opportunities for cultural exchange to our visitors.

Regional, local, and campus events and actives will be announced via the monthly newsletter. A number of these events will also be available to any J2 Dependent accompanying the J1 Exchange Visitor.

As an institution granted the ability to sponsor a J1 Exchange Visitor, the U.S. Department of State requires GSU offer cross-cultural activities and experiences to our participants. Federal regulations regarding the J1 Exchange Visitor Program define Cross-cultural activity as: “Cross-cultural activity. An activity designed to promote exposure and interchange between exchange visitors and Americans so as to increase their mutual understanding of each other's society, culture, and institutions." (22 CFR 62.2) The regulations go on to expand on this requirement. Please see below:

Authority Cite:

22 CFR 62.8(d)

(d) Cross-cultural activities. In addition to category specific requirements, sponsors must:

Offer or make available to exchange visitors and the accompanying spouses and dependents, if any, a variety of appropriate cross-cultural activities. The extent and type of the cross-cultural activities will be determined by the needs and interests of the particular category of exchange visitor. Sponsors will be responsible for determining the appropriate types and numbers of such cross-cultural programs, unless otherwise specified by the Department. The Department of State encourages sponsors to give their exchange visitors the broadest exposure to American society, culture and institutions; and

Encourage exchange visitors to participate voluntarily in activities that are for the purpose of sharing the language, culture, or history of their home country with Americans, provided such activities do not delay the completion of the exchange visitors’ program.

The monthly J-1 Exchange Visitor Newsletter is the primary tool used to promote opportunities for our Exchange Visitors to engage, as well as provide reminders on important regulatory requirements. Topics addressed in the newsletter include:

  • Local/Community Events
  • Georgia State University Events
  • International Student & Scholar Service Programming
  • Volunteerism
  • Cultural-Exchange Opportunities
  • J-1 Visa Status Maintenance

Approximately one month following the start of the J1 Exchange Visitor’s program, an informal interview with the J1 Scholar Advisor will be scheduled. This 15-minute discussion will take place at the Exchange Visitors working location.

This time allows the Exchange visitor to share their experience and needs with the J1 Scholar Advisor. It also serves as a way through which the advisor can gage the safety, wellness, and level of engagement of the Exchange Visitor and follow-up accordingly.