Host a teacher or member of staff on exchange

Hosting a staff visit is both interesting and stimulating, contributes to new perspectives and internationalization at the workplace.

The university often receives requests from staff at foreign higher education institutions to visit the university and to see how we work. It can for example be a teacher or staff exchange within Erasmus+.

Visits from international staff can last from a few days or a few weeks or up to a couple of months. When you receive a request to host someone from another university, there are a lot of things to consider in order to create a successful visit. It is important that both parties have the same expectations for the visit.

There is no central coordination at Umeå University for incoming staff visits, however International Office has created some recommendations and documents how to receive staff within Erasmus+. The documents can also be used for visits outside of Erasmus+.

Request and process

A teacher or staff exchange usually starts with the department/unit receiving a request, often by email, about a visit. If you assess that the request is interesting, proceed with the following steps before the application is accepted:

  1. Send the "Application Form - Statement of Intent" to the person who wants to visit and ask them to complete it. Do not accept applications that are vaguely worded. If the application is to vague, please ask the person to clarify.
  2. Discuss the visit with colleagues who may be involved. Negotiate with the person if there is something you will not be able to offer or if there is a time period that would work better than the one the person has suggested..

Questions that can be helpful

  • What is the purpose of and background to the visit? What added value will it create for our department/unit?
  • What is the proposed time period?
  • Where will the person have their workplace?
  • What tasks will the person perform during their visit?
  • Who will be the contact person at the department/unit? How much time will it take?
  • Other employees/departments/units who should be involved in the visit?

Insurance

Foreign visitors are covered by a collective insurance. The insurance is provided by the Swedish Legal, Financial and Administrative Agency (Kammarkollegiet). The insurance applies automatically - no need to make a manual order for an individual person. If the guest needs a certificate of the insurance, an HR person or manager can create one.

More information about Insurance for international employees and guests (Swedish only)

If the guest is European you should ask them to bring their European health insurance card, which entitles them to necessary medical and dental care on the same terms and costs as those insured in the country.

Residence Permit

Read more information on this webpage (in Swedish) if it is necessary with a residence permit for visit for the incoming visitor.

What is expected of a contact person

Before arrival

  • Send a letter of invitation and a work plan (see templates in the right column of this page).
  • Tip your visitor about the webpage Finding a home to find accommodation, especially for longer visits. 
  • If it is a short stay, you can advise the visitor about hotels/hostels. I.e., via Visit Umeå webpage. 
  • Keep in touch with the guest so that you know that she/he plans to come, and what dates she/he arrives and travels home.
  • Order a temporary guest card.
  • Book a guided tour of the campus.
  • Book meetings with other units or departments.
  • Send a schedule (see template) to the visitor at least one week before arrival.
  • For shorter visits: double check if the guest intends to bring her/his own laptop. If not, investigate the possibility to loan a computer temporarily.
  • Create a guest account for Wifi. If your guest need access to some of the university's systems you can ask your catalogue manager (Katalogansvarig) to temporarily add the guest to you department/unit.
  • Prepare an information folder with materials, e.g. crisis information, brochures etc. Brochures and presentations
  • Send an email to everyone in your unit/department so they know the guest is coming.
  • If necessary, update the Work plan with more detailed information about the work tasks.

First day

  • If you have a guest computer, make sure that it functions properly.
  • Introduce the guest to your colleagues and introduce them to the work place.
  • Go for a short walk in the surroundings and show the guest the food amenities/restaurants. Show them where they can find information about leisure activities.
  • Go through the Work Plan and schedule and explain working hours, flex time, coffee and lunch, as well as the tasks and the various meetings that have been booked. Hand over the information folder and go through it.
  • Give an overall presentation of Umeå University and your department/unit.
  • Have lunch with the guest.

Continous work

  • Remember to always speak English when the guest is present.
  • If your guest need to print something, she/he can send documents to the contact person or another person at the unit/department for help.
  • Have a short reconciliation meeting once a week to make sure everything is okay and moving according to plan.
  • Help the guest book new appointments if needed.
  • Ensure that the guest is included in unit/institution joint meetings, fika, after-work etc.

Towards the end

  • Arrange a final meeting to capture views and experiences.
  • Arrange some kind of closing fika or lunch.
  • Buy a small Umu/Sweden present. For example university merchandise.
Petra Käck
11/2/2023