Sponsored students are students who receive full or partial funding from a third-party source, such as a government (U.S. or foreign), foundation or nonprofit organization. These students usually come to UB on a J-1 visa.
The U.S. Department of State has a number of programs that they support and work with in order to place students in U.S. universities. Some examples of sponsoring organizations are:
The programs that these organizations manage include the Fulbright Foreign Student Program, the USAID Democracy Fellows and Grants Program and the Tibetan Scholarship program, amongst others.
Each graduate department has its own admissions requirements which can be found on the Graduate School's website. An application will be submitted to the university while the student's dossier will be forwarded to ISS by the student's placement officer. After admissions decisions are made, the sponsoring agency will notify ISS if a student is to be placed at UB.
Once placed at UB, ISS will liaise with the student's academic department to confirm the students' acceptance to their program and assist with pre-arrival communication. A sponsored student will work directly with their sponsor on the issuance of their immigration documents (DS-2019, J-1 visa, etc) to arrive in the U.S. Students must make sure to communicate regularly with their sponsor and work with them to ensure they are maintaining valid visa status. Any immigration requests such as work authorization, travel endorsements or DS-2019 extensions must also be directed to the sponsor.
The ISS point of contact for sponsored students and sponsoring agencies is Kara Lanuti. The point of contact serves as a liaison for incoming and current sponsored students. New students will receive customized pre-arrival communications and an invitation to an annual Meet and Greet for new and returning sponsored students. All students will receive assistance and information regarding campus involvement, the Western New York region, cultural exchange, and community support.
As the centralized point of contact between sponsoring agencies and academic units, sponsoring agencies will receive assistance in connecting with academic departments regarding application processes and placements, assistance with documentation and billing requests, and the preparation of placement forms and arrival materials.
A visiting student researcher (VSR) is a Fulbright sponsored student who attends a U.S. institution for a short time (6 - 10 months) for the purpose of advancing their research. Academic departments interested in hosting a VSR and sponsoring agencies looking to place a VSR at UB can contact Kara Lanuti for assistance with this process. ISS can also assist in completing the sponsor's Institution Response Form. Inquires about Fulbright Visiting Scholars should be directed to UB's Immigration Services office.