The J Exchange Visitor category was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, also known as the Fulbright-Hayes Act, of 1961. The purpose of the Exchange Visitor category, is "to enable the Government of the United States to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange; to strengthen the ties which unite us with other nations by demonstrating the educational and cultural interests, developments, and achievements of the people of the United States and other nations, and the contributions being made toward a peaceful and more fruitful life for people throughout the world; to promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement; and thus to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic, and peaceful relations between the United States and the other countries of the world."
U.S. Department of State regulations state that "The purpose of the Program is to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and return home to share their experiences, and to encourage Americans to participate in educational and cultural programs in other countries".
Indeed many American GW students will visit dozens of countries in the name of cultural exchange by participating in GW’s Study Abroad programs.
The J Exchange category allows GW to invite exchange students in order to promote GW’s broader institutional goals of diversity and inclusion.