Departmental Responsibilities


Before you move forward with the visa process, please make sure that your department is prepared to take on the responsibility of hosting a scholar. The Padnos International Center strongly recommends that a full time Faculty or Staff member be prepared to host the visiting scholar before, during and even after the stay. This individual should serve as the primary contact for the visiting scholar for communication and coordination. 


It is the host department’s responsibility to make housing arrangements for the visiting scholar and any accompanying family members.  It is always best to finalize housing arrangements prior to the scholar’s arrival. If the scholar would prefer to live on GVSU’s campus, please contact Mike Ashcraft. Scholars are typically housed on campus at Winter Hall, on the Pew campus, but there are a few rooms in Allendale. Contact Mike for details.

Mike Ashcraft

[email protected] 
(616) 331-5828 
Conference & Event Planning Services 
104 North Living Center C 
Dept. Phone: (616) 331-6620 
Dept. Fax: (616) 331-6696 

Visiting scholars may stay in a hotel in Grand Rapids, in Allendale, or in our Alumni House in Allendale, which is very similar to a hotel.

Here is more about the Alumni House, including the rates:

Visiting Scholars wishing to live off campus and not in a hotel, will need to secure their own housing. This can be quite difficult as most visitors do not have a social security number or the ability to pass a credit check.  GVSU does not maintain a list of off campus apartments.


The host department must also ensure that sufficient funding is available for the program. Some scholars are funded by the host department and others are funded by outside sources, which may include the U.S. or foreign governments, a college/university in the scholar’s home country, a nongovernment agency, or the scholar’s personal/family finances.

Airport Pick-Up and Initial Shopping

It is the host department’s responsibility to be sure that the visiting scholar is provided sufficient transportation from the airport to their lodgings. Please be sure to send a welcoming member of your department’s team to pick up the scholar at Grand Rapids Airport. Be sure to check flight schedules on the day of arrival to be on time. Flight times can be found at this website:

It is also the host department’s responsibility to help the scholar feel comfortable by taking them to the store and helping them obtain items that are immediately necessary (bedding, toiletries, towels, cooking supplies, groceries, etc.). This usually involves a single trip to a store like Meijer, but may include more if the scholar has specific needs. After the initial shopping trip, it is also important the host department teaches the visiting scholar how to navigate The Rapid busing system, or helps them purchase / lease / rent a vehicle. 

Page last modified December 4, 2019