Visiting students and scholars from around the world come to our campus each year to study, teach, lecture and conduct research. We welcome visiting faculty research or teaching scholars to our campus every year. The reasons to visit the University of Waterloo are vast and include some impressive statistics:
- 40,000 full and part-time students cumulatively between undergraduate and graduate programs (Fall 2018) of which 20% undergraduate and 40% graduate students are international students
- 45,600 enrolments per year in online undergraduate & graduate courses (2017/18)
- Ranked #1 in Canada for computer science and ranked #2 in Canada for engineering
- Ranked as Canada's most innovative university for 27 years
- Physics and Astronomy professor Donna Strickland was awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics, making her the third woman in history to receive the prestigious honour.
- Currently 63 joint international academic partnerships (2017/18)
- #1 school in Canada for venture-backed capital enterprises (Pitchbook 2018)
Clearly there are many reasons scholars across the world are interested in visiting the university. Waterloo currently manages visit requests from up to 1,000 visitors per year (2017), of which approximately 210 are identified as a "visiting scholar."
What is a "visiting scholar"?
A "visiting scholar" is commonly defined as a scholar from an institution who visits a host university and is projected to teach (provide an entire course), lecture (provide a presentation within a course), or perform research on a topic the visitor is valued for. The "scholar" may be an individual who has an affiliation to a post-secondary institution, research facility, or department in a public or private organization. Usually a "visiting scholar" has at least a Bachelor’s degree (and often a Graduate degree) and the length of visit is limited to two years or less.
Determine if "visiting scholar" is the correct title for the visit
We invite you to answer the questions below to determine the next step in obtaining the necessary documentation to visit the University of Waterloo as a "visiting scholar":
Do you hold Canadian citizenship (passport)?
Perfect! Skip to the last question about needing a university host.
No problem; continue to the next question.
Will you be visiting The University of Waterloo campus for longer than 5 days?
Great! Please continue to the next question.
If you're not going to be on campus for more than 5 days you do not likely need to complete the steps to becoming a "visiting scholar." It is more likely you may simply need a visitor's visa (if any) for your visit. You can visit the Government of Canada website to determine what is required based on your citizenship.
Will you be visiting The University of Waterloo campus for less than 2 years?
Great! Please continue to the next question.
If you're intending to remain at the University of Waterloo for more than 2 years, it is likely you will require documentation beyond the scope of our resources. We suggest you work with Human Resources to determine your long-term employment here and we suggest you contact Fran Hannigan in our Legal and Immigration Services department to discuss your immigration requirements. You may be eligible to visit as a Postdoctoral fellow depending when you completed your PhD degree; contact Graduate Students & Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA).
What is the main purpose of your visit to The University of Waterloo?
Research, teaching or lecturing
Great! These types of activities are common for visiting scholars. Please continue to the next question.
Guest speaking, lecturing, giving or attending a workshop/conference
You do not likely need to complete the steps to becoming a "visiting scholar." It is more likely you may simply need a visitor's visa (if any) for your visit. You can visit the Government of Canada website to determine what is required based on your citizenship. You may still need a "host invitation letter" which you can obtain from your host department (see below).
Do you have a University of Waterloo host already arranged?
What is a "host"? - A host is one particular university-affiliated individual or a university dept (eg. the Faculty of Arts) who has invited you to come or will be responsible for "hosting" you while you are here on campus.
No, I don't have a host arranged yet.
Your next step is to determine which faculty, department, or research centre, or institute you wish to have host you. You'll first need to find an appropriate host at the University of Waterloo to continue the process of becoming a visiting scholar.
Yes, I have arranged or made contact with a University of Waterloo host.
Great! Your next step is to obtain a Letter of Appointment from your University of Waterloo host. Your host will then need to follow a set of procedures to complete your appointment.