Hosting an International Visitor

Assessing the benefits of a non-academic visit

When approached by a prospective guest it is important to consider whether hosting the visit will benefit the guest, you, your department, faculty and the university. Some collaborations may benefit from a face-to-face visit early on, while others would be better served through other forms of communication before considering hosting a visit. It is acceptable to say "no," or "not at this time".

  • Ask the interested party to complete the International Visit Request Form, providing detailed information regarding the purpose of the visit, then share the completed form with your Faculty Office or Senior Administrative Office, as well as the Office of the Vice-Provost, International

  • Consider how the visit aligns with the strategic goals of your department, faculty, and the university


The Principal's Development Fund aims to enrich the international dimension of Queen's, within both the classroom and research environments.

Extending an invitation

Individuals hosting an international visitor should do so in consultation with your faculty/department head and business officer.

Find other invitation templates...

Hosting the visit

Responsibilities and resources

For faculty/department specific visits, one person should be identified as the host. This person will be the contact between Queen's campus participants and the guest, and will be responsible for making appropriate arrangements.

TRAVEL: Providing the visiting delegation liaison with information regarding travel, including on campus parking, accommodation, services and local interests, as needed.

LOGISTICS: Discussing logistics with the visiting delegation liaison.

ACCESSIBILITY: Asking about any accommodation requirements. Find more about Accessible Event Planning.

ITINERARY: Developing the itinerary for the visit, in collaboration with campus participants.

BACKGROUNDER: Creating a backgrounder of the visitor(s) and their institution for on campus participants:

  •  Backgrounder/ briefing note template (MS Word 30 KB)
  • Request biographies of lead guests, and identify significant and relevant academic and research connections between Queen's and the visiting institution, international ranking, etc.
  • Distribute itinerary and backgrounder to campus participants at least five working days prior to the visit, allowing time for feedback/corrections
  • Distribute a finalized the itinerary to the international delegation liaison at least three days prior to the visit
  • A backgrounder may also already be prepared depending on the country by the Office of the Associate Vice-Principal (International) with regard to country's connection with Queen's.

BUSINESS CARDS: Reminding Queen's attendees to bring enough business cards to present to guests.

ETIQUETTE: Providing information regarding etiquette. See Executive Planet guidelines for business etiquette

FOOD AND BEVERAGE: Arranging food and beverage. (Please note: not all visits will require food and beverage)

Depending on the type, purpose and length of visit, food and beverages should be considered whether appropriate to serve. Generally, if the delegation is staying for more than a couple of hours, with more than one meeting, it would be appropriate to provide a coffee/tea break.

Please keep in mind that the financial responsibility of providing food and beverages to guests is the responsibility of the visit host or if arranged ahead of time, another unit/department. If the visit is a full day, it is advised that you provide a lunch to the visitors.

There are numerous options on campus that provide catering services:

AUDIO VISUAL / IT: Determining if AV / IT services are required, and work with host department's IT representative to arrange set up.

GIFTS: Preparing gifts, institutional and/or individual as appropriate. In most cases, one institutional gift is appropriate. When choosing a gift consider cultural cues. If available, ask advice from a Queen's staff member who has the same cultural background, or significant knowledge of the guests culture.

When in doubt, contact Michael Green in the Office of the Vice-Provost, International for advice/assistance:, 613-533-6000 extension 77781

  • We suggest where possible, the gift be made in Canada, and be representative of Queen's and/or Kingston. Often these can be the Queen's label pin, a Queen's pen or something similar with the Queen's logo.
  • Institution-level gifts should be light, non-breakable, and non-perishable.
  • Smaller, individual gifts may be food as the guest may wish to enjoy a treat during their travels.
  • Guests may or may not open gifts in front of you; take your cue from the guests.

INFORMATION PACKAGES: Preparing information packages for guests. Information packages typically include:

  • Queen's Viewbook
  • Queen's International Viewbook
  • Queen's Strategic Framework
  • Queen's Comprehensive International Plan
  • Queen's Strategic Research Plan (optional) and latest issue of (e)Affect Magazine
  • Bader International Study Centre Viewbook (optional)
  • School of English Viewbook (optional)
  • School of Graduate Studies Viewbook (optional)
  • Campus Map (print outs or by way of a link)
  • any other information relevant to the theme of the visit or the interests of the guests

Visit close out

  • The host will ask representatives of each meeting to provide a brief (one or two paragraph) summary of the meeting discussion and next steps
  • The host will pull the summaries together in a single document for distributing to their Dean, the Office of the Vice-Provost, International, and individual meeting hosts/chairs.
  •  Follow-up report from Queen's host template (MS Word 1 MB)


The Office of the Vice-Provost, International, is available for consultation and support along the way. Please contact:
Michael Green
Coordinator, Global Engagement Projects and Events
613-533-6000 extension 75793