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Pre-Entry and Arrival

International Visitor Program


The International Programs Office, as an official sponsor of the exchange visitor program, is required to provide official program orientations to J-1 visa holders.  All J-1 visa holders sponsored by the US Forest Service International Visitor Program are required to attend an orientation.  These orientations cover program goals, essential elements and regulations of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, an initial introduction to the US Forest Service and an introduction to US culture and customs. 

Orientation Outline
Required Reading
Required Presentations
Orientation Quiz
Other Resources, Handbooks and Guidelines
24-Month Bar

A monthly orientation webinar is held on the first Thursday of every month. Email invitations are sent out to visitors and hosts shortly before and after arrival. If a visitor is unable to attend the first orientation after they arrive, we can arrange a personalized orientation or they can attend the following month. The orientation slides will be provided to each participant after the orientation.

International Programs assists Forest Service Units in providing initial assistance to Exchange Visitors as they begin their adjustment process

Units hosting international visitors monitor progress on the official orientation activities and help visitors navigate their local communities and resources. Host Units are required to provide further in-depth administrative, technical and cultural orientation and support throughout the program.  Host units and visitors should make available and create ample and diverse opportunities for intercultural exchange beyond the office and activity sites.

In general, welcome and on-site orientation activities will include:

  • orienting visitors to the US Forest Service and Affiliated Partners
  • administrative details such as obtaining necessary ID cards or access to computers
  • specific training on policies, procedures and safety training specific to their site of activity
  • assistance with housing, banking, transportation, medical services, etc.
  • cultural orientation and intercultural exchange activities. 

Additionally, local advisors and colleagues are responsible for providing opportunities for intercultural exchange throughout the program.  Once the initial arrival and orientation tasks are completed, on-site advisors and colleagues, in coordination with the International Programs Office, must ensure that the overall educational and cultural objectives of the program are met through ongoing interaction, orientation, training and the monitoring and evaluation of activities.

> If you have any questions, please contact:

  • Brenda Dean , International Visitor Program Coordinator, Responsible Officer, (202) 644-4640,
  • Rima Eid, International Visitor Program Specialist, Alternate Responsible Officer, (202)644-4642,
  • Kristin Corcoran, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4643,
  • Misty Sidhu, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4645,
  • Lee Blaser, International Visitor Program Specialist, (202) 644-4631,
> Click here and read about latest activities and news of the International Visitor Program.

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