East Carolina University
Office of International Affairs

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The International Exchange Assignment

An International Opportunity for ECU Faculty

Faculty seeking to gain international experience should consider applying for an “International Exchange Assignment.” The program permits ECU faculty to exchange places with a colleague from an overseas partner institution for a Semester or an entire Academic Year. The following information describes the program.


The International Exchange Assignment is a secondment (or loan) to an overseas site of an ECU faculty member. The period of work shall be either one full Semester or one full Academic Year. The overseas site shall be a university with which ECU has a formal exchange agreement. The partner university overseas will, in turn, second one of its faculty members for a similar period of time and for a similar set of duties.

Status and Conduct Policies

During his or her period of exchange, the visiting lecturer from overseas will be a participant in ECU’s U.S. government-approved “Exchange Visitor”(J-visa) program. As such, the lecturer’s stay in the U.S. shall be governed by U.S. government rules and regulations, including proof of adequate health care insurance. The visiting lecturer will be extended a courtesy adjunct appointment to the ECU faculty. To receive this appointment, the lecturer will agree in writing to observe all the conduct policies (such as those pertaining to sexual harassment, undue favoritism, drug offences, etc.) as stated in ECU’s General Personnel Policies. It is expected that the ECU faculty member going abroad will be subject to similar conduct policies that apply to faculty members at the overseas partner institution.


Ideally, the ECU and overseas faculty members paired to undertake an exchange shall exchange simultaneously. As much as is feasible, they will assume one another’s duties and thereby avoid the creation of a vacancy in one another’s academic program. When a simultaneous swap is not possible, faculty members shall work out with their Department Heads a plan whereby their classes and other duties will be covered during the period of absence from ECU. This plan must be approved by the faculty member’s Dean and by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.


The duties of a faculty member on an International Exchange Assignment will consist of teaching, or a combination of teaching and research. (Faculty seeking an overseas assignment purely for research purposes should instead apply for a Research Assignment.) If the assignment is for teaching alone, the faculty member will be expected to teach the equivalent of a full-time load at the host institution overseas. If it be for teaching and research, the faculty member shall teach not less than the equivalent of six contact hours per week. A research plan with explicit objectives and expected outcomes should be prepared and approved prior to the exchange.


Faculty on an International Exchange Assignment will remain on full salary and benefits from ECU during the period of their exchange. It is expected that the exchange professor coming to ECU will remain on full salary and benefits from his or her home institution abroad. ECU faculty may receive additional compensation from their host institutions overseas to help offset the cost of international travel and such other extra expenses attendant to the exchange. ECU may, at the discretion of the relevant Department Head and Dean, provide a supplemental stipend to the in-coming exchange professor. In the case of an ECU faculty member receiving supplemental funding from the overseas university, he or she must complete, and have approved by his or her Dean, the form “External Professional Activities for Pay.”


First, the faculty member wishing to be considered for an International Exchange Assignment should discuss plans with his or her Department Head and the Director of International Affairs. (As necessary, the Office of International Affairs will assist in making contact with the overseas institution.)

Second, the institutions should reach a written “Agreement in Principle” with respect to the exchange. This “Agreement” should identify faculty members by name, indicate the proposed program, and propose a time for the exchange.

Third, an equipped with the “Agreement in Principle,” the ECU faculty member and the Department Head will make formal application for the Dean’s approval. (Normally this approval should be sought at least six months prior to the period of the exchange.) The formal application shall consist of:
  • The name and curriculum vitae of the exchange professor from overseas;
  • Proof by the exchange professor of health care coverage at a level equal to or exceeding the minimum amount required of a J-visa holder;
  • A description of the courses and other duties that the exchange professor will teach and perform during the exchange;
  • A description of the teaching, or teaching and research, that the ECU professor will undertake overseas;
  • An indication of financial considerations that will be involved, and a plan for taking care of any fiscal needs;
  • A copy of the “Agreement in Principle” developed with the overseas partner institution;
  • A letter of endorsement from the Director of International Affairs; and
  • An indication of the benefits that will be achieved as a result of the proposed exchange.

Fourth, and should the relevant Dean endorse the application, he or she will transmit the application to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs with a recommendation.

Fifth, the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs will decide whether to approve the plan. If he or she approves, the ECU faculty member is approved for the International Exchange Assignment and the faculty exchange can take place.

For Further Information

For further information about the International Exchange Assignment, please contact:

Jim Gehlhar, PhD, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs
Office of International Affairs
East Carolina University
306 East 9th St.,
Greenville, NC 27858-4353, USA
Phone: 252-328-1936
FAX: 252-328-4813
Office Web Site: