Determine whether a Western representative will meet the visitor at the airport/train station and provide an escort to the hotel, the host department will send a car, or if the visitor must find his/her own transportation. Your decision will depend on the visitor’s status and familiarity with London and the availability of an escort at the appointed time. The same considerations should apply to the visitor’s departure.
After evaluating the objectives and status of the visitor, you should determine which activities are most appropriate. Although your primary interest will likely be introducing the visitor to the University and its many academic programs and facilities, you may also want to consider community, business and government groups opportunities.
Consider whether an all-day escort from your office is needed (this will depend on the status of the visitor and the availability of staff). If you do not assign a permanent escort, make arrangements for a staff person from each appointment to accompany the visitor to the next meeting and make appropriate introductions, or confirm that the visitor can find the meeting place on his or her own.
Be careful not to overload the daily schedule. Consider the following:
In some cases, either the visitor or the host department will want the visitor to give a lecture or speak in a class. If the visitor is to give a public lecture, the host department will need to make appropriate arrangements. The host department will be responsible for arrangements such as room reservations, publicity, equipment reservations, and catering. In addition, someone should plan to introduce the speaker and moderate a question-and-answer period.
In some cases, your visitor’s status, research subject, or purpose of the visit will create wide public appeal. Upon securing your visitor’s approval, it is a good idea to arrange for a public event on campus. If your visitor is well known and likely to attract interest, it is important to notify the Department of Communications and Public Affairs and Campus Police about the visit, and forward a detailed itinerary to them for review. Communications and Public Affairs can be helpful in arranging any media visits or news releases. Campus Police can be helpful with transportation and security issues.
Provide the visitor with a detailed itinerary with contact information. Include addresses and phone numbers for each appointment. The visitor may want to follow up with further correspondence and will be grateful for the information. Distinguish between professional and social meetings and provide a brief sentence on the purpose of each appointment or the topics to be discussed (see Sample Itinerary).
Provide Western participants with biographical information on the visitor and indicate briefly why you have chosen them to meet with the visitor. If appropriate, suggest common areas of interest.
Host Briefing Packet
Visitor Briefing Packet
Gift giving is symbolic in every culture. In Canada, giving a gift to business associates and colleagues is often a sign that you respect the effort made to visit you and to signify something about the relationship—its beginning, the continuity, or the forging of a new aspect to the relationship. While these underlying motives can apply across cultures, the actual gift is often quite symbolic and can create anxiety for those hosting international visitors. Here are some things to keep in mind:
It is a good idea for the unit that planned the visit to thank all of the individuals who met with the visitor. This can be done by phone, e-mail, or with a written note. It is also appropriate for the organizing unit to follow-up with the visitor on any information that was requested.