International VIP protocols

On occasion, you or your unit may host an international VIP or delegation of VIPs on campus. When this occurs, UMSL Global would like to help make this visit a success.

Some examples of international VIPs include:

  • Government officials (elected officials, ambassadors, consuls, honorary consuls, etc.)
  • University administrators
  • Distinguished scholars
  • Major employers
  • Corporate officers
  • Donors

Depending on the nature of the visit, UMSL Global will work with you and other offices on campus to identify space for meetings, reserve hotel rooms, and even make sure the flag of the VIP's country is flying outside Woods Hall upon their arrival.

Here are several things to keep in mind when hosting an international delegation:

  • It is best to schedule campus meetings during the academic year when faculty, staff, and students are most likely to be on campus. While summer visits are possible, many faculty are away from campus during that time and not all requests can be accommodated. Visits should not be scheduled during the Winter Holidays or on University holidays when the campus is closed. Please refer to UMSL's academic calendar for more information.
  • Advise guests that the UMSL campus is large and driving to campus buildings is not always possible. Visits may include a fair amount of walking and guests should be advised to wear comfortable shoes. Ask in advance if participants require ADA accommodations.
  • Inquire if visitors will need translation services. UMSL does not typically provide translation services for delegations. Groups in need of translation should make independent arrangements prior to their arrival. If the meetings will include translation, make sure that appropriate time accommodations are made.
  • Familiarize yourself with culturally appropriate ways to greet visitors and cultural norms for gift giving. If you have questions about this, please contact UMSL Global at - we can help.

Important questions to ask before hosting an international VIP or delegation:

Who is visiting?

Where are the visitors from?

What are the objectives of the meeting?

Who will be serving as the UMSL host?

What intercultural etiquette issues should we be mindful of?

Does UMSL or the unit serving as host have an existing partnership with the visitors?

What gifts are appropriate for the visitors?

Are photos and/or media coverage of the visit requested?


UMSL Global has prepared an international VIP notification form with these questions, along with several others, which we ask you to submit as soon as possible, so we may be of assistance in making your guests' visit to UMSL a success.

We have also created a checklist you may use to track that status of preparations for each visit.

To complete this form, log in to Google Forms with your UM System SSO - i.e. [username] - and fill out the details. Once we receive this form, we can help you answer the following questions.

Helpful links

Here are some links you may find helpful



If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at