Frequently Asked Questions

MCF Program Requirements, Expectations, and Structure

What expenses does the MCF Scholars Program cover?    

Mastercard Foundation Scholars receive a comprehensive scholarship equivalent to the costs associated with earning a master's degree, which includes travel, tuition, Berkeley student fees, visa and SEVIS fees, housing, food, living expenses, and cohort signature programs which will focus on leadership and entrepreneurship.    

MCF Scholars are required to undertake an internship in Africa during their studies at Berkeley. How will these internships be identified? When must this occur? Will students be paid?    

MCF Scholars will complete an internship in Africa during their studies. Staff and faculty at Berkeley will assist in identifying appropriate opportunities. The Scholarship will pay for round-trip airfare to Africa for the internship and provide a stipend to defray cost of living expenses.        

I have read that MCF Scholars become part of a network. What does this mean?    

MCF Scholars at Berkeley will join their counterparts at the aforementioned institutions in the United States, Benin, Canada, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Mauritius, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdon and other countries to form a network of scholars. Informed by an ethical and unalloyed commitment to service, the network allows scholars to forge a common identity, meet and exchange ideas with their peers and connect via social media.    

When must MCF Scholars return home?    

The Mastercard Foundation created this program with the specific aim of having MCF Scholars return home after graduating from Berkeley and undertaking any optional practical training in accordance with visa regulations. MCF Scholars should not anticipate staying for a prolonged period in the United States after completing their studies.    

Must MCF Scholars return to their home country?    

Most MCF Scholars presumably will return to their home country. Some, however, may work in other African countries on issues related to their areas of training and, in so doing, 'give back' to the continent of Africa.  

How will MCF Scholars find jobs when they return?    

As part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Network, Scholars will have access to the Africa Careers Network to assist in identifying employment opportunities on the continent upon completion of their studies. Furthermore, the team at Berkeley will assist Scholars in finding suitable employment opportunities in Africa and make sure they are aware of opportunities in Africa during their studies at Berkeley.

What happens if Scholars cannot complete their program on time?    

Berkeley faculty and staff members will assist Scholars to complete their programs on time. If unforeseen circumstances prohibit this, Berkeley and its constituent parts will work with students on an individual basis. MCF Scholars at Berkeley are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout their program.    

What kind of visa will MCF Scholars receive?    

MCF Scholars at Berkeley are issued J-1 Student visas.    

May MCF Scholars work while on campus?    

Adjusting to academic expectations at Berkeley requires time and energy. Scholars will also be engaged in myriad activities on- and off-campus. While Mastercard Foundation Scholars are permitted to work part-time on campus, this is highly discouraged during their first year, and will need to be discussed with their advisor for future years. We envisage that they might wish to pursue internship opportunities in the United States which are closely aligned with their research or academic interests. In such instances we urge them to consult and liaise with the MCF Program Manager and the appropriate faculty members in their respective departments.