International Visiting Scholars

Thank you for your interest in becoming a Visiting Scholar in the School of Information and Library Science at UNC Chapel Hill. In order to begin this process, you will need to find a member of the SILS faculty to sponsor your visit. It is important to find a sponsor whose research interests are compatible with your own. As an international visiting scholar, you will need to obtain a temporary visa.

AFTER you have secured a faculty sponsor and they have agreed to sponsor your visit, please have your faculty sponsor e-mail the Senior HR Consultant to start the visa application process.  The email must come from the faculty sponsor.  


General Conditions of Visiting SILS

Scholars are welcome to visit SILS for a semester or for a full year. UNC's academic calendar runs from mid-August through mid-May. In order to make full use of your time in Chapel Hill, we recommend arriving no later than August 1st or December 31st. 

SILS may be able to provide the scholar with workspace, a UNC ID and e-mail account, library and technology privileges, and the opportunity to audit courses. Scholars are also encouraged to give formal lectures, attend meetings, and participate in social functions.

SILS does not have the funds to support travel to and from Chapel Hill, or to support scholars’ living expenses. Visitors receive no compensation and they are not eligible for employee benefits or financial aid. Every scholar must demonstrate sufficient financial support during their time in the U.S. This is a requirement for your visa. Scholars are also responsible for obtaining their own housing, but the Office of International Student and Scholar Services can provide resources.



Once a faculty sponsor has been secured, SILS will send the scholar the necessary paperwork needed for obtaining a J-1 visa. UNC’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) will help facilitate the visa process. Please read through OISSS’s website for the most up-to-date information on the J-1 visa. Pay close attention to the minimum required financial support amount and the medical insurance requirement.