Frequently Asked Questions

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital web site is full of information about the medical services we offer, how we care for patients and families, and general information about our community.

Our international scholars, delegations, fellows and residents come to Columbus to visit, not to live. Some need temporary housing, and many will need to use public transportation during their stay. In this section we have included links to other areas in the hospital’s web site, as well as other helpful information not listed elsewhere.   

If you have additional questions or are interested in other information not shown here, please send us an email at Your input will help us keep this section user-friendly and informative for our foreign visitors.

For General International Resources

Are there organizations in the Columbus area that deal with global education and other matters?

Yes, there are several. Nationwide Children’s Hospital has had a long academic relationship with The Ohio State University(OSU). One of their programs is International Friendships. Other local organizations include the Columbus Council on World Affairs and Columbus Sister Cities International.

Do you receive updates on any international programs or scholarships?

Periodically we receive updates on medical education programs and scholarships throughout the United States that are not part of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. You are welcome to email us at and request the latest posting of “Med-Ed Programs, Scholarships, Fellowships and Internships.”

For Prospective Scholars

Are there government requirements for traveling to the United States?

The requirements for traveling to the United States, including visa, passport and immunizations, can be confusing. There are several web sites with important information, including but not limited to the following:

What do I need to bring with me?

Among the many items you will need and want to bring, be sure you include these:

  • Passport and visa
  • Any documentation requested by your International Scholars Program coordinator
  • White clinical coat or nurses uniform (scrubs are fine)
  • Any medications you are on for as long as you will be here
  • American currency to last for at least 2 weeks after your arrival
  • Electrical adaptor for American electricity voltage (120 volts)
  • Presentation material on flash drive (Power Point)

Prior to packing, we strongly recommend that you check with the airline carriers you will be using about their weight restrictions per item, and number of items checked or carried on, to avoid last minute additional fees at the airports.

Does it matter how scholars dress while at Nationwide Children’s Hospital?

Clothing should be clean and ironed and appropriate for a business environment. Scrubs or street clothes covered by a lab coat are fine for physicians. Scrubs or street clothes covered by scrubs are fine for nurses. Shoes should be flat or low-heeled and enclosed at the toes. Very high heels, sweat pants, sweat shirts, micro mini skirts, and tops that expose excess cleavage or abdomens are not acceptable. Your department mentor will have the final word on appropriate dress in their area.

For Visitors to Columbus, Ohio

What is the weather like in Columbus?

The weather in Ohio can be very irregular, with changes in temperatures and precipitation most of the year. Visitors wanting to avoid times of low temperatures or heat and humidity can plan ahead of checking weather web sites such as:

What types of public transportation is available?

The easiest and least expensive way to get around town is by bus. The local bus is “COTA” (Central Ohio Transit Authority). Schedules, maps and fees are listed on their web site. There are several stops within several blocks of the hospital.

How do I handle financial transactions in the United States?

In the United States, banks provide a variety of financial services. The most relevant service for visiting scholars is the checking account. Americans make daily purchases with cash, personal checks, and credit cards. Cash is used less frequently than in other countries. Cash is commonly used to purchase food, small personal items, and transportation fares such as taxis and buses. We encourage you to deposit your money in a bank for safety. Personal checks are used to pay for rent, insurance, educational fees (including class registration), and food shopping.

How far is Nationwide Children’s Hospital from the airport?

Columbus International Airport is eight miles from the hospital. Most major domestic airlines provide service between Columbus and major cities in the United States.

Are there grocery stores within walking distance from the hospital?

There are local grocery stores that are accessible by a short bus ride.

How do I make long distance calls?

Hospital and campus housing telephones cannot be used to make long distance calls, overseas calls, or calls to other area codes within the United States. Calling cards can be purchased at local stores. It is suggested that prior to coming, you check with your cell phone provider about coverage while you are here.

What if I want to extend my stay in the United States?

Foreign visitors must return to their home country within the time period allowed on their documents when they arrived here. You can view some of the United States government restrictions at