The following tips can guide departments and units in hosting international visitors.
Communicate with the visitors to acknowledge the request and adjust or confirm the timing of the visit. Consider the U-M academic/athletic calendar, weekends, holidays, graduation ceremonies, and availability of people to meet with the visitor when scheduling the visit. Hosting a delegation during a large athletic event or graduation weekend might impact your ability to secure hotels, etc.
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.
Prepare formal invitation letters for the visitors, if requested. Such 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. Please contact the Provost’s Office to inquire about courtesy visits for high-ranking officials.
Determine what events and activities are possible (e.g., lectures, presentations, receptions, meals, business meetings, facilities tours, etc.).
Build an itinerary that includes full titles, contact information and bios for each visitor. This background information helps U-M 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 – important for securing a hotel or meeting locations
Dietary restrictions (for health or cultural reasons) – important to consider when catering in lunch or dinner
Transportation – determine whether the visitors will need transportation from the airport/train station to hotel or around campus