Visiting Scholars Program

The Visiting Scholars Program of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute is designed to enable faculty and scholars from or with ties to East and Southeast Asia to enrich their academic careers by engaging in research and scholarship related to East and Southeast Asia at Columbia University. The Institute provides Visiting Scholars with access to Columbia University facilities and libraries. Scholars may audit courses throughout the university, conduct research, and participate in the activities of the Institute.

Visiting Scholars may affiliate with the Institute for 6 months to 1 year and must be sponsored by an Institute faculty member during their stay. 

Working knowledge of spoken and written English is necessary. We require English language test results no older than 2 years and with the following scores:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (minimum score of 79)

  • Paper-based TOEFL (minimum score of 550)

  • IELTS (minimum score of 6.5)

  • PTE Academic (minimum score of 53)

  • Cambridge Assessment English (minimum score of 180)

Other acceptable evidence to prove English language proficiency:

  • Proof of citizenship, e.g. passport ID page, from a country where English is an official language

  • Official diploma from an academic institution where English is the language of instruction

  • A phone, video conference or in-person interview

An Institute faculty member must sponsor your visit during the duration of your stay. Our faculty cross many interdisciplinary areas of study and makes us a strong and vibrant institute. We encourage you to reach out to our faculty listed here:

That individual will act as your mentor during your stay here and advise you on your research and other academic pursuits.


  • Sponsorship of an Institute faculty member

  • Current affiliation with an academic institution and a Ph.D. in respective area or field

  • Proficiency in written and spoken English 

  • $500 visa processing fee

  • $100 administrative application fee (by check made payable to Columbia University; or by money order)

  • Proof of sufficient funds for the duration of stay

If you meet the above requirements, please submit the following items to be considered for the program:

  • curriculum vitae

  • research proposal. Your research proposal should adequately convey your research aims and goals and why the visiting scholar exchange at Columbia University is important.

  • English language proficiency score and certificate

  • Conferred Phd degree 

  • letter of recommendation 

  • Passport copy as well as any for accompanying dependents

  • Headshot photo 

  • In addition to the $500 visa processing fee and $100 application fee, you will need at least $3000 per month for yourself to cover living expenses. If your family intends to accompany you, an additional $1,000 per month for your spouse and $500 per month per child is required.

If you require a visa, the coordinator will work with you on that process. Please allow at least 3 months from the start date of the program to begin the visa process. Please note that B visas are not accepted.

  • To begin research on January 1st (Spring Semester) applications to be submitted by* October 1 of the preceding year.

  • To begin research on September 1st (Fall Semester) applications to be submitted by* May 15 of that year.

*The fall semester generally runs from September 1 to December 20, and the spring semester from January 15 to May 15.

It is strongly recommended that inquiry and application begin at least 6 months prior to your anticipated start date to allow for approvals and paperwork.