Visiting Scholar Information

The Institute for Korean Studies offers affiliation to scholars and fellows visiting Indiana University for an extended period. Eligible affiliates include faculty holding appointments at other universities, researchers at research institutions, professionals from media and civic organizations, government officials, and artists, who seek to conduct research on topics related to Korea. Residencies may last up to 12 months but may be renewable for an additional year. During the residency, the Institute provides scholars with access to the IU academic community and its renowned library system, and welcomes their educational, intellectual, and artistic contributions to both the university and the larger Bloomington community. Indiana University offers two types of affiliation: (1) Visiting Scholars and (2) Visiting Fellows.

Visiting Scholar Eligibility: Applicants must have earned a PhD or other comparable terminal graduate or professional degree (i.e., JD, MD, MFA), and hold a faculty or other permanent research position at an accredited university, college, or research institution.

Visiting Fellow Eligibility: Eligible non-academic visiting fellows are senior government officials, researchers at research institutes or civic organizations, and prominent figures in business, politics, journalism and activism. 

Visiting Scholar and Visiting Fellow Application Procedures

Application Deadline

Applicants are advised to submit their applications early, as it generally takes 3-6 months to process them and the visa applications.  

Required Application Materials

(Additional documents will be required for visa processing.)

To apply for visiting status with the Institute for Korean Studies, please send the following documents by email or postal mail:

Institute for Korean Studies

355 N Jordan Ave 2050BB

Bloomington, IN 47405

1) A cover letter, addressed to the Institute for Korean Studies;

2) Curriculum vitae in English: Please include home and business addresses, phone and fax numbers, e-mail address, date and place of birth, education, and a complete list of publications and professional activities;

3) Proposal in English outlining the research that will be undertaken while in residence at Indiana University. The proposal should be no more than three pages in length;

4) Certified statement of financial support from the applicant's place of employment or financial institution;

5) A scanned copy of passport clearly showing picture, number and expiration date.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Every visiting scholar and all accompanying dependents must have health insurance coverage that meets the standards of Indiana University. Health insurance coverage may be purchased through the IU Office of International Services.

If you have health insurance provided by your home institution it will not be necessary to arrange insurance here, providing it meets certain criteria. However, you will need to provide documentation in English of that insurance upon your arrival. This information should include the amounts covered (money available and the extent of the coverage). Maternity coverage is required for women.

Proof of English proficiency

The Office of International Services requires proof of English language proficiency that is sufficient to meet US J-1 Exchange Visitor visa requirements. The proof must be dated within the last twelve months.

 The U.S. Department of State accepts these objective measurements of English language proficiency:

--A recognized English language test: Internet-based TOEFL minimum 105, or print-based TOEFL minimum 620, or IELTS minimum 7.5, or MELAB minimum 87); or

--Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school confirming proficiency level; or

--A documented interview conducted by the faculty sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option; or

--Confirmation that your native language is English.

--Usually confirmed by submitting evidence of completing at least three full years of secondary school in one of the approved countries or having citizenship in an English speaking country.

Proof of funding

Proof of funding sufficient to meet US visa requirements for yourself and any accompanying dependents.

You must provide proof of your financial support. The Office of International Services at Indiana University requires at a minimum the following figures to issue a J-1 visa certification: $1,200 per month for the J-1 Scholar, $500 per month for the first J-2 dependent, and $300 per month for each additional J-2 dependent.

Visa application

Generally, the length of time visiting scholars spend at Indiana University is from six months to one year. Once we have agreed to host you as a visiting scholar, the Institute will request a visa certification (Form DS-2019) on your behalf to allow you to apply for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. Note that your accompanying dependents must apply for the J-2 Visa.

Annual Administrative Fee

$1,000 is due following the mandatory immigration orientation, which is held at the IU Office of International Services. Further instruction on the payment will be provided in the official invitation letter.

Scholarly Responsibilities

Visiting scholars affiliated with the Institute for Korean Studies are expected to participate actively in the Institute’s intellectual community and have monthly meetings with a mentor or the Institute director. They are asked to submit a report on the progress of their research upon the completion of their residency.

Office Space

The Institute does not offer private office space to visiting scholars. Visitors can request a "study carrel" which is an assigned table at the IU Library to have a place to leave library books the scholar wants to reserve but doesn't want to take home each day.


IU departments do not arrange housing for visiting scholars. It is necessary for each scholar to make his or her own living arrangements. Indiana University offers a variety of housing options on campus. See housing application and costs at the website of IU Division of Residential Programs and Services, Prices are provided for full semesters. If an apartment is available earlier than the start of semester you will pay a daily rate for the extra days.

On-campus housing is not always the most affordable option but does have the advantage of reservation in advance and includes utilities and internet and television cable service. Local telephone service is also included, but visitors must provide their own telephone. Residence halls (dormitories instead of apartments) require purchase of a meal plan. Mandatory meal plans tend to be expensive; ask for prices before applying. 

There are a few on-campus apartments that are completely outfitted with furniture, linens and kitchen utensils. Other on-campus apartments are unfurnished (completely empty except for stove, refrigerator and window coverings). 

Many short-term visiting scholars prefer off-campus housing and find apartments or boarding rooms after arrival in Bloomington. Off-campus apartment hunting may be difficult at certain times of the year. Immediate housing is most readily available in May and in August. Most property owners expect a one year lease (an agreement to occupy and pay monthly rent for 12 months). There are fewer options for scholars who stay less than twelve months, but housing is available.

For hotel information, see It may be difficult to reserve a hotel room at the start of the school year and during football or basketball weekends.

General Information

Visiting scholars receive academic status that permits a university identity card, full access to the library, an Indiana University e-mail account and, for a fee, access to campus photocopy facilities, recreational facilities, etc. The IU e-mail username and password gives the visiting scholar access to the internet at computer locations across campus and to IU wireless service.

See the International Scholar Pre-Arrival Guidebook sent to J-1 visitors by IU International Services. See MENU for additional details for scholars. The International Student Guidebook also has helpful information,

Some questions may be answered through the Search feature at the Indiana University website, See also, then MENU > Living in the US.

It is best to make advance arrangements for transportation from the Indianapolis Airport to Bloomington, but it is possible to buy a ticket at the airport Ground Transportation Center (may require credit card or debit card instead of cash).