International Guests

International guests on USA campus in front of Jaguar statue.



Global USA is the central international office for the University of South Alabama. We support the University's Strategic Priority of Global Engagement by working with colleges, departments, faculty, staff, students, and the Mobile area community to facilitate the comprehensive internationalization of University of South Alabama. Global USA encourages the hosting of international visitors and provides counsel, assistance, and will maintain records of international visitors for the institutions.

USA requests that all international visitors are registered with Global USA in the Office of International Education. USA colleges and departments hosting international visitors or visiting delegations should complete the online International Visitor Notification Form.

We like to consider International Visitors as VIP’s. The Global USA office will arrange any university meetings beyond the hosting department or college if the International visitor is one of the following.

  • Other University Presidents, Chancellors and Provosts or equivalent
  • Current and former high-ranking government officials such as heads of state, ambassadors, consuls general, etc.
  • Other governmental and religious officials
  • High profile visitors
  • High ranking military officers

If your visitor is a sitting official of the United States government, please contact Nick Lawkins, Executive Director of Governmental Relations.

Global USA’s Office of International Education (OIE) provides guidance on protocol for visiting foreign delegations regarding:

  • Proper forms of address
  • Cultural practices and customs
  • Gift exchange
  • Flag etiquette

The OIE can also provide briefing and agenda templates, as well as suggestions regarding USA administrators, faculty and student groups with whom the visitor(s) might meet. If you are planning to develop a formal agreement with an international institution, please see USA’s international partnership guidelines and templates found at Please contact OIE to ensure that an agreement does not already exist between USA and the prospective partner institution. Additionally, all agreements submitted to the USA Attorney’s Office for legal review should be copied to Bri Ard, OIE Director,

This reference is designed to guide faculty, administrators, and staff in arranging for a short visit by an international guest or delegation. It contains information about University resources, suggestions on planning and scheduling, advise on gifts, and general considerations.

USA faculty and staff members often host international delegations or individual colleagues for short-term campus visits to develop educational partnerships, explore research collaborations or to provide an introduction to USA. The following resources and shared templates can aid units in planning for international visitors.

Objectives for hosting international visitors may include:

  • Enhancing the educational or research capacity of your department, academic unit, or the larger University.
  • Creating new international learning opportunities for USA students.
  • Exploring new opportunities for bringing international students to your academic program.
  • Exchanging knowledge and ideas around topics of mutual interest.

Visit formats may range from general introductions to detailed partnership planning or signing ceremonies and celebrations.

The following questions can help you plan the visit:

  • What is your history with the visiting delegation? Do you or your department have an existing relationship with the institution or organization or does the visit represent a new possibility for collaboration?
  • Is there sufficient faculty/staff interest among your colleagues to explore collaboration with the visiting organization or institution? If so, what are those particular areas of interest? How do they align with the goals of the visitors?
  • Who requested the visit? Did you extend an invitation or did the visitors contact USA?
  • What are the benefits of this visit for your department, academic unit or the broader institution?
  • What costs and time commitments will be involved with the visit?
  • Who are the members of the visiting delegation and Are you able to connect visitors to USA counterparts with similar titles or status? Scheduling and availability may be factors for consideration.

The following considerations can guide you in hosting international visitors:

  • Communicate with the visitors to acknowledge the request and adjust or confirm the timing of the visit. Consider the USA academic calendar, weekends, events, holidays, graduation ceremonies, and availability of the appropriate people to meet with the visitor when scheduling the visit.
  • Identify a coordinator for the visit to build the itinerary, schedule meetings and address logistical questions. The coordinator is typically a faculty member or administrator within the host unit. Global USA will support and assist the coordinator as needed.
  • Prepare formal invitation letters for the visitors, if requested. These letters are often needed to help the visitors obtain U.S. visas. Be sure to include the full name of each visitor, the dates they will be on campus and the purpose(s) of the visit.
  • List visit-related expenses (e.g. hotels, hosting, etc.) and clarify who is paying for each expense.
  • Consider the “levels” of the visitors. The protocol involved will vary greatly between the visit of a professor/researcher and the visit of a high-ranking university or government official.
  • Build an itinerary that includes full titles, contact information and bios for each visitor. Background information helps USA colleagues better understand the context of the visit. Where possible, incorporate the cultural customs of the visitors’ home country and use formal salutation where appropriate.

Determine any special needs of the visitors:

  • Disabilities
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Transportation
  • Language – address needs for translation services