Guidelines for Hosting International Visitors


Georgia State’s global engagement is evidenced by the breadth and diversity of its international initiatives as well as its growing reputation and visibility abroad. Welcoming international visitors to our campus helps sustain and expand our international profile. Therefore, it is essential that international visits are well-planned, achieve intended outcomes, and leave visitors favorably impressed and committed to their relationship with GSU.


These guidelines apply to short duration visits to Georgia State University of two weeks or less by high ranking elected or senior government officials from other countries; representatives of international institutions including universities, corporations, foundations; and international non-governmental organizations. Such meetings could be for the purpose of exploring collaboration opportunities, discussing existing joint activities, courtesy calls or signing ceremonies. Longer term visits such as semester or year-long visiting scholar programs are beyond the scope of these guidelines.

Roles And Responsibilities

1) Meetings with the Provost and President

The Office of International Initiatives and the hosting College will be responsible for handling all arrangements for international visitors/delegations involving meetings or events with the Provost and President of the University as follows:

Initial International Visits

The Office of International Initiatives will plan and coordinate arrangements for first-time visitors/delegations. The Dean of the hosting college must approve all requests for meetings with the Provost and President.

Established International Partnership Visits

The hosting college will plan and coordinate arrangements for visitors/delegations from institutions with which GSU has an established partnership.

The Associate Provost for International Initiatives and the Dean of the hosting college will be responsible for ensuring that all necessary preparations for international visits falling in the above categories are handled in accordance with the procedures outlined below.

2) Meetings wth other GSU officials

The hosting academic unit will be responsible for planning and coordinating the visits of international visitors/delegations for which no participation of the President or Provost is required. OII will support and assist with these visits as requested.

International Visitor Contact Persons

The GSU hosting unit must designate a contact person who will be responsible for planning and organizing the visit. The contact person, with assistance from OII as requested, will perform the following and other unanticipated tasks as necessary to ensure a successful visit:

  • Establish contact with visitors prior to arrival and provide logistical, background and briefing information and support
  • Identify and communicate visit objectives and expected outcomes
  • Research and advise GSU hosts of applicable protocol and cultural considerations
  • Identify, refer, and where appropriate, schedule visits with GSU administrators, faculty and staff
  • Identify appropriate GSU and community participants
  • Identify translation and other special services
  • Coordinate briefing materials and university information packets
  • Coordinate publicity/photography coverage with University Relations
  • Identify appropriate gift and coordinate gift exchange, flags, seating arrangements, etc.
  • Arrange appropriate refreshments, snacks or meals

Notification and Scheduling

To ensure that international visits to GSU are properly planned and efficiently executed, the above process should be initiated as soon as possible but not less than two weeks before the visit is confirmed. The GSU hosting unit (contact person or other designated individual) should complete and submit the International Visitors Form to OII. This form serves two important purposes:

1) It collects information on international visitors/delegations, prior to their arrival, in order to properly plan their visits to GSU. This information will be collected for all international visitors conducting official business with the university.

2) It also serves as a useful tool for collecting information on international visitors that can be shared broadly with the larger university community. Details on recent and upcoming international visits will be posted on the university, OII and college websites to inform GSU personnel and to facilitate contact, consultation, and potential collaboration with international guests.

Follow Up Assessments

OII, in collaboration with the academic units, will conduct annual follow up assessments of international visits to identify outcomes and benefits to GSU, as exemplified by: the initiation of new partnerships involving student and faculty exchange; study abroad; collaborative research; teaching initiatives; joint hosting of conferences, workshops, symposia; collaboratively pursuing grant funding opportunities, etc.

The results of these reviews will be shared broadly with the GSU community and also will be used to refine this guidance.