Visiting Scholar Activities

Discovering the Bay Area

Every year the Institute of East Asian Studies plans several events for our visiting scholars - academic, educational, and also recreational. Many of these activities are also open to families and children as well. 

Here's a list of some of our activities! Please note that activities may change due to availability.


Tilden Park BBQ

CCS, CJS, CKS and IEAS visiting scholars and their families gather together for a picnic potluck lunch at Tilden Regional Park, one of the oldest parks in the East Bay Regional Parks system and a true Bay Area jewel. We visit Little Farm where everyone enjoys feeding and petting cute farm animals. For lunch, everyone brings a delicious dish for the potluck. Then we have some more fun chatting, while the younger ones play on the playground!

Pumpkin Patch

We celebrate the fall at various pumpkin patches and farms around the Bay Area. In 2018 we visiting the Tolay Fall Festival in Sonoma County, where visiting scholars and their families got to try their hand at some old-fashioned crafts such as candle dipping and making corn husk dolls, as well as pick their own pumpkins for Halloween. 

Stanford East Asian Library Resources Tour

This personalized tour of the resources at Stanford University's East Asian Library is a popular trip for our visiting scholars. Located 40 miles south of Berkeley, Stanford University's East Asian Library holds over 680,000 volumes in the social sciences and humanities for all historical periods in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages. With access to more than 800,000 volumes of online books and journals, EAL collections also consist of special collections, government documents, media, and periodicals.

Holiday Potluck

We end the year with a holiday potluck, asking scholars and their families to bring a dish from their home country to pass. A great way to socialize and network with IEAS staff and faculty!


Lunar New Year Banquet

The Center for Chinese Studies hosts the Lunar New Year Banquet for members of the CCS and UC Berkeley community to celebrate the new year. 

San Quentin Prison: Introduction to the U.S. Criminal Justice System & Inmate Rehabilitation Programs

In February of 2019, we took a group of visiting scholars to San Quentin State Prison where scholars and IEAS staff alike met with incarcerated individuals who talked about the wealth of prison rehabilitation programs offered by the prison. Scholars visited a cellblock. Prior to the field trip, we invited Professor Jonathan Simon, Director for the Center of Law a Society, to speak at IEAS and provide a special orientation for staff and scholars alike on the U.S /California State prison system.

Tour of Locke and Old Sacramento

In March, we host a guided tour of the City of Locke. Founded in 1915, Locke is the largest and most intact surviving example of an historic rural Chinese-American community in the United States, including more than 50 commercial and residential buildings and covering approximately 14 acres along the east bank of the Sacramento River, south of the city of Sacramento. Locke is the only such community remaining in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which was a particularly important area of rural Chinese settlement. Locke is the legacy of the extraordinary efforts made by the Chinese in developing agriculture in California.

Old Sacramento, where we will stop for lunch and allow for time to explore, is the riverfront historic district, with Gold Rush-era buildings, cobblestone streets, and horse-drawn carriages. It’s home to numerous museums, including the Sacramento History Museum and the state Railroad Museum. 

Angel Island's Immigration Station

In April we take visiting scholars by ferry to Angel Island, a California State Park, to have a guided tour of the Immigration Station and learn about the history of Asian immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Cherry Picking

Each May we celebrate spring and take visiting scholars to Brentwood, California for a day of cherry picking. After we've filled our buckets (and stomachs!) with cherries, we stop by a nearby park to eat lunch, chat, and relax.