Visit Cornell

Cornell welcomes students and scholars from around the world to study, research, and speak at the Law School.

Visiting Scholars

Visiting scholars and researchers may come to Cornell for academic year, semester, or weeks-long appointments, typically under an exchange agreement with one of our partner schools.

Cornell Law School ordinarily does not have funds to support travel to and from Ithaca, or to support living expenses while scholars are in residence. Every accepted scholar must have sufficient financial support for the visit and must certify this as a part of the application for a U.S. visa.

Visitors will be provided with:

  • A Cornell ID
  • An email account
  • Access to the library, as well as the electronic databases to which Cornell Law School subscribes
  • Wireless computer network access
  • Use of Lexis/Westlaw
  • Access to all general Law School events

With an instructor's permission, visiting scholars and researchers will be permitted to audit classes. As space allows, the Law School may be able to reserve limited workspace for visitors at a dedicated carrel or small shared office. Scholars who wish to use the resources of Cornell University that are outside of the Law School must inquire concerning the conditions of such use.

Learn more about eligibility, application deadlines, and more.

The Mori, Hamada & Matsumoto Faculty Exchange and Conference Support

As part of Cornell Law School's Asian law initiative, the Tokyo law firm, Mori, Hamada & Matsumoto, has generously agreed to sponsor faculty exchanges and conferences as well as the Meridian 180 initiative. Under this arrangement, Cornell law faculty travel to Japan and faculty from Japanese universities come to Cornell to collaborate on research projects, give seminars, and teach courses.  The fund also underwrites major scholarly conferences focusing on East Asia, or East Asian participation in such conference at Cornell Law School.

International speakers

Each year, the Law School hosts dozens of international speakers through the Berger Speaker Series, the Berger Current Affairs Colloquium, the Clarke East Asia Colloquium and the International Law/International Relations Colloquium.

In addition, other Law School offices and University units, including the Office of Career Services, the Office of Professional Development and the Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell, bring hundreds more.

Information for all visitors to Cornell


Visitors are primarily responsible for locating suitable housing, but the Cornell University International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) can provide some information in that regard. Visit the ISSO website for more information about finding housing in Ithaca.

English language requirement

J-1 regulations now require proof of sufficient English language knowledge upon being selected to participate in a J-1 program. This regulation impacts incoming J-1 visitors; those already present in J-1 status and those whose initial DS-2019 forms were issued prior to January 5, 2015 are not required to demonstrate English proficiency at the present time.

For those who wish to increase their English language ability, there are several opportunities for English language study in Ithaca.

Health insurance requirements

Cornell University requires that you have a medical insurance policy protecting you and your family in the event of a major illness or injury. U.S. Government regulations also mandate that all exchange visitors (J-1 visa holders) and their dependents (J-2) have health and accident insurance to participate in Cornell's exchange programs.

In addition, federal regulations prohibit an extension of your J-1 status beyond the dates on the DS-2019 form without proof that you have maintained insurance for yourself and all family members during your entire length of stay in the U.S. as an exchange visitor. Cornell ordinarily requires its visiting students and scholars to purchase Cornell health insurance. In some circumstances, students/scholars and their families may substitute a comparable external insurance plan for the Cornell plan, if it meets the minimum coverage requirements outlined below. However, waivers from this requirement are difficult to obtain. Learn more here.

Minimum level of insurance coverage required

Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500 Expenses associated with the medical evacuation to home country in the amount of $10,000

Note that in the United States, certain kinds of elective medical care, such as eyeglasses or dentistry, are ordinarily not covered by insurance and can be very expensive. If possible, take care of those needs before leaving home.

J-1 staff members

Cornell has a medical insurance plan that most exchange visitors with academic appointments for a semester or longer may join. Eligibility depends on the conditions of your appointment. If Cornell does not provide insurance for you, you must make alternative plans to ensure required coverage for your entire visit. The ISSO cannot endorse or recommend any private health insurance plan. We recommend that you do a web search on "health insurance plans for J-1 exchange visitors" to assess your options. Contact Benefit Services, Office of Human Resources for further information:

Suite 130
395 Pine Tree Road
Ithaca, NY 14850


All Cornell students are automatically charged for insurance on their Bursar's bill. The annual cost is not included in tuition, assistantships, or fellowships.

Arrangements for family insurance can be made at the insurance office in Gannett Health Center, which you can contact at 1 (607) 255-5155 or Family members must enroll within 30 days of arrival in the U.S. or they will become ineligible to enroll. You may be required to provide verification of your date of arrival in the U.S.

Visa Requirements

Once accepted into a program, the Law School will send visiting scholars and visiting researchers the necessary forms to obtain a J-1 visa. These forms should be returned as described in the accompanying instructions. Please note that immigration regulations require all foreign visitors to provide documentation of their ability to support themselves financially while in the United States. Currently, the minimum funding requirement is $1300 per month per visitor, plus an additional $650 per month for an accompanying spouse and $375 per month for an accompanying child and a $1200 initial adjustment expense.

Updated financial requirements will be provided along with other materials upon a visitor's acceptance into the program.

Contact us to learn more.