J-1 Cultural Exchange Requirement

The J-1 exchange visitor visa was created with the primary purpose of enabling cultural exchange between the United States and other nations, thereby “building mutual understanding between Americans and people of other countries.” Cross-cultural exchange activities are an essential part of the University’s J-1 exchange visitor program and of our continued ability to sponsor exchange visitors across campus.

Cross-Cultural Exchange Opportunities

The Office of International Services, campus and community partners offer a variety of cross-cultural exchange opportunities.

To comply with the federal regulatory requirements of the exchange visitor program, all sponsoring departments must have plans in place to offer cross-cultural exchange opportunities to J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents.

Departments should contact OIS with any questions about the cross-cultural exchange component of the J-1 exchange visitor program.

Cross-Cultural Exchange Opportunities

  • English Language, Culture and Pronunciation class for Exchange Visitor Scholars and Dependents through INTO OSU 
  • Tuesday Teaching Talks through Center for Teaching and Learning
  • English language opportunities through community adult English classes, conversation circles and language exchange programs
  • Conference attendance and presentations
  • Campus seminars, lectures and conferences
  • Connecting the exchange visitors to cultural communities of interest including English language learning resources, volunteering, conversation partner programs or circles, home stay programs through OSU email listserv and social media
  • Knowledge about civic groups that are interested in having exchange visitors speak or present (Rotary International, Willamette Friendship Force, etc.)
  • Spousal engagement programs or volunteer opportunities including activities and programs for children (Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, International Moms Group, Crossroads Conversation School for Women, etc.)
  • International Scholar and Faculty Coffee Social
  • OSU President and Provost's Reception for International Faculty and Visitors
  • Speed Friending Events
  • Events and Activities through INTO OSU
  • International Friendship Program and other conversation partner programs (Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center Conversation Partner Program, International Moms Group - Mom's Crossing International Borders, INTO OSU Conversant Partner Program)

In addition, the following exchange opportunities can be easily integrated into an exchange visitor’s time in the department:

  • Campus tours, or tours of local landmarks or historical districts
  • Departmental luncheons, happy hours, or other events
  • Campus events, cultural events, musical or theater performances (See OSU Today)
  • Academic conferences and seminars
  • Beaver sporting events
  • Visits to OSU museums, galleries, and collections
  • Visits to OSU campuses and experiment stations
  • Activities through Dixon Recreation Center and Adventure Leadership Institute (ALI)
  • Talk about the American culture/history of philanthropy and volunteerism and then arrange a day of volunteer work with a local charity.
  • Talk about the American economy, crafts and trade, and then plan a day at a county fair and/or a local trade show. Meet the local farmers, small business owners, crafts people.
  • Talk about American sports and recreation, then pick a sport to teach visitors to play, creating a league with competitive games. Go to a game/match (high school, college, professional) all together. Set up a fun match between the participants and a local team.
  • Talk about American cultural and religious celebrations. Celebrate U.S. holidays with families and community groups. Talk about the meaning of the day.
  • Talk about American cultural expression. What music/dance is unique to the host region (country, western, jazz, local high school bands, square dance lessons, etc.)? Arrange dance classes and dance-offs and go to a show. Give the participant a chance to share and compare his/her culture.
  • Talk about American theater and arts throughout our history and today; create a theater club. Theater is a great expression of societal values – and conflict. Check out the local and school theater schedules and schedule theater outings regularly throughout the program.  Combine the outings with dessert discussions about the playwright, play and themes.
  • Everybody loves to eat! Organize a series of American culinary evenings where participants can learn to cook and eat the results! Use food as a conversation thread to talk about American traditions, customs and history.  Share the recipes and include some cross-cultural evenings for visitors to share and teach their own culinary traditions.”