Becoming a Visiting Scholar

Visiting Scholar and Visiting Graduate Student Program

Visiting scholars and graduate students who will be conducting research in person at UC Berkeley can apply to affiliate with the Center for African Studies through the UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar Program. Details on the visiting scholar affiliation process are available from the VSPA office web site, where a list of benefits and privileges is also found. Berkeley SHARE Regional Services handles the application process for the Center for African Studies.

The Center does not provide financial support or fellowships to visiting scholars. Applicants must have their own funding, such as that from a Fulbright grant, to support their travel, accommodations, and fees. Foreign scholars on a J-1 visa must have at least $2,000 per month, plus $600 per month for spouse, and $400 per month per child (here). Except for visas obtained through the Fulbright and other sponsoring programs, SHARE, on behalf of the Center, works with the Berkeley International Office to obtain visas for visiting scholars. The overall process for requesting a visa can take 2-4 months.

The Center does not have office space for visiting scholars. However, scholars who live at the International House, an on-campus residence close to the Center, find the rooms and facilities there adequate and convenient. Visiting scholars also have access to Cal Rentals, which provides rental listings and housing advising to the UC Berkeley campus community. Fall semester at Berkeley begins in mid-August and spring semester ends in mid-May. Remote appointments are not possible. To assist in planning, current and future academic calendars are available.

Initial Inquiries

If you are interested in becoming a visiting scholar or visiting graduate student at UC Berkeley, please review the linked information covering Privileges, Requirements, Fees, General Information & Formal Application Procedures. Before making a formal application, please first contact the Center by e-mail, copying the Center Director, Leonardo Arriola, In this initial inquiry, please include the following information about your proposed visit: your credentials, research to be undertaken, proposed UC Berkeley faculty host, and time-frame. If we determine that we can accommodate your visit, we will issue an invitation to you to formally apply.


The following two annual fees are required of all visiting scholars and student researchers, international and domestic:

1 University Service Fee - annual fee paid up front, before the appointment letter is issued, by all visiting scholars and visiting student researchers: First Year Second Year
a) Visitng Scholars $750 $1,500
b) Visiting Student Researchers $1,000 $2,500
2 Center for African Studies Administrative Fee
a) Visiting Scholars $1,000 $1,000
b) Visiting Student Researchers $1,000 $1,000
The following fees are incurred in the process of obtaining a J-1 Visa (and are reimbursed by applicant to the Center):
1 DS-2019 processing fee $650 $400
2 Possible air courier fees Approx. $85 n/a
The following are US Government Fees paid directly by the applicant:
3 Department of Homeland Security SEVIS processing fee $220 n/a
4 U.S. Embassy/Consulate J-1 visa application fee: $185 n/a

Disclaimer: Fees are subject to change without notice.