LINGUIST List 14.1953

Thu Jul 17 2003

FYI: LSA Summer School & Academic Exchange Visa

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Peter Trudgill, LSA Summer School

Message 1: LSA Summer School

Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 23:42:15 +0000
From: Peter Trudgill <>
Subject: LSA Summer School

A number of people have asked me why I have withdrawn from my
commitment to teach on the LSA Summer School in Michigan this year. I
am sorry to have done so, and apologise to all those who this has
inconvenienced. What happened was this.

As a British citizen, I needed a J-1 academic exchange visa to teach
in the USA, even for just three weeks. Unfortunately, however, the
rules for obtaining such a visa were changed this year, on January
1st. When I phoned the American Embassy in London to ask for
instructions (the people in Michigan had no idea about the change in
the rules) I was told that I would have to:

Send a stamped and addressed envelope to the American Embassy in
London rerquesting the 3 forms that I would have to fill out to be
sent to me at my home in Norwich.

Go to a bank and pay in the sum of $100 to the American Government and
obtain a receipt.

Send the completed forms and the receipt for the $100 to the American 
Embassy London.

Telephone the American Embassy in London and make an appointment for
an interview. There was a three week wait for such interviews.
Interviews were between 9 and 12 a.m. only.

Make the 250 round-trip journey to London, paying my own travel and
accommodation expenses, and be interviewed by someone at the American
Embassy to see if I was a suitable person to be granted a J-1 visa to
teach linguistics to young Americans, and other people, at the summer
institute. (When I complained about this during my phone call, I was
told that even if I lived in the Shetland Islands, 700 miles from
London, I would still have to attend for an interview in London at my
own expense.)

Wait for three weeks for my passport to be returned to me from London
by post.

I decided that did not want to do this.
Peter Trudgill
Professor of English Linguistics
Fribourg University
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