Frequently Asked Questions

Application Information

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is January 15, 2015; all applications must be submitted online by 11:59 pm EST.

What are your citizenship requirements?

Only U.S. citizens are eligible. Dual citizens may apply, as long as they possess a U.S. passport. Permanent residents or citizens of other nations may not apply.

What are the age requirements for the program?

Students should be between 18-30 years old, enrolled full-time at a 4-year accredited university in the United States, and have the status of a rising junior or senior.

Is the program open to community college students?

Students who have completed two years of community college and are enrolled full-time for the following term at a four-year accredited university are eligible to apply for the fellowship. All fellows must have the status of an enrolled student to participate on the program.

What fields are candidates chosen from?

The current focus of this fellowship is on entrepreneurship and innovation. Interested applicants should have a background – educational, professional, or volunteer – that shows their interest in and commitment to this focus.

What is meant by 'entrepreneurship and innovation'?

Cultural Vistas encourages applicants to draw on a broad definition of 'entrepreneurship and innovation' when considering the fellowship program. Entrepreneurship and innovation is all about solving problems by looking at cutting edge solutions of the future. Innovation requires the pursuit of novel ideas and entrepreneurship implies resourcefulness, unconventional thinking, dedication and leadership. Entrepreneurs and innovators come from all fields of study, including (but not limited to) business, natural sciences, IT, political science and communications. We encourage you to think creatively about your own interpretation of the theme.

What kind of candidates are you looking for?

This fellowship is meant for students who have not had the opportunity to study, intern, or live abroad before. Strong preference will be given to applicants from underrepresented groups. This includes, but is not limited to: Pell Grant recipients; veterans; first-generation college students; STEM majors; members of minority communities within the United States; and non-traditional students. Cultural Vistas recognizes a broad definition of the term 'underrepresented.'

Applicants should be able to demonstrate their interest and commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation, and be passionate about the potential for the international exchange of ideas in this field. They should be open-minded, flexible, and curious about cultures other than their own.

What is involved in the application process?

Complete an online application by clicking the “Apply Now” button. After you have provided some background information about yourself, we will email you a password granting access to our online application system. Upon submission of a completed application and all supporting documents, Cultural Vistas will schedule an interview with selected candidates. During this interview, we will assess your abilities, language skills, and career goals and will answer any questions you may have. After a successful interview, you will be formally accepted into the program and we will begin the search for an appropriate internship.

What do I need to send to Cultural Vistas to apply?

The application is completed and submitted online. The application includes short essay questions, a resume, official university transcripts, and two letters of recommendation. If necessary, signed and sealed recommendation letters and official transcripts may be sent directly by the recommenders and university registrars to the following address:

Cultural Vistas Attn: Cultural Vistas Fellowship
440 Park Avenue South, 2nd Fl
New York, NY 10016

What are the short essay questions?

Each of the following questions should be answered with a maximum of 200 words:
1. Describe how you demonstrate a commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation in your program of study, volunteer or professional experience.
2. What makes you a uniquely qualified applicant for this program?
3. What do you envision will be valuable about your internship experience in the host country?
4. Describe your vision and goals for your “Fellows in Service” project.

Who should write the letters of recommendation?

Recommenders should be recent professors and supervisors who can attest to the student’s professional or educational abilities. At least one recommendation letter should be professional.

To whom should the letters of recommendation be addressed?

Letters of recommendation should be addressed To Whom It May Concern, or to the "Members of the Selection Committee".

Should I request more than two letters of recommendation?

Please only have two letters of recommendation sent. Any additional letters will not be read.

 

Program Information

Will I get to choose the country of my internship?

The final decision in regards to country assignment will be made by the selection committee. Students will note their internship country of choice in the application, but many factors will be considered. For example, to be considered for internships in Germany and Argentina, the applicants need to have German and Spanish proficiency, respectively.

Will my internship be paid or unpaid?

All internships are unpaid.

What sort of work will I do at my internship?

The internship positions will be entry-level, supporting the work of seasoned professionals. We encourage fellows to keep an open mind about the work they will be involved in at their internships. All placements will be related to the fellowship's theme of entrepreneurship and innovation, with a focus on deep cultural immersion and gaining new perspectives on how people think and work in another culture.

Who arranges the internships?

Cultural Vistas works together with partner organizations in Argentina, Germany and Singapore to secure internship placements for the fellows.

What language will I speak during my internship?

To the greatest extent possible, the working languages will be Spanish (Argentina) and German (Germany). In India, fellows will speak English.

Where will I live?

Cultural Vistas' in-country partner organizations will arrange housing for the duration of the fellows’ stay abroad. Depending on availability, accommodations could be either shared or independent, in residences such as student dormitories, apartments, or host families. Fellows should recognize that a certain degree of flexibility will be necessary to adjust to other customs and ways of life, as well as to adjust to the difference of living standards that exists between the United States and other countries.

What costs are covered by the program? What additional costs can I expect?

Driven by our commitment to provide more Americans with opportunities to gain meaningful international work experience, Cultural Vistas' Board of Directors has designated that funds be used to establish this multinational fellowship program. This support keeps the cost very low for participants, who are only responsibile to cover food and personal costs (laundry, leisure travel) while abroad. The fellowship covers program-related travel (airfare, in-country travel), accommodations, internship placement, emergency medical insurance, applicable visa expenses, and some group meals.

Does Cultural Vistas offer scholarships?

Because Cultural Vistas Fellowship covers the majority of participant costs, the Cultural Vistas Scholarship fund is not available to fellows. However, participants are encouraged to seek additional funding and scholarships through their home institutions and other organizations.

Do I need a visa?

Argentina
U.S. citizens are able to enter and stay in Argentina for up to 90 days with their U.S. passport. However, the Argentinean government charges a reciprocity fee upon entering the country, currently $131 for U.S. citizens, valid for 10 years. The costs of this fee will be reimbursed by Cultural Vistas.

Germany
Fellows will receive a residency permit that will allow them to intern for the duration of their stay.

India
U.S. citizens planning to intern in India (even unpaid) are required to possess a valid visa. Cultural Vistas and its partner in India will assist fellows in securing the appropriate visa.

Does the program cover health insurance?

Students will be provided emergency health insurance coverage while they are abroad. They should keep their U.S.-based insurance during the program.

Do I need to speak Spanish/German?

The minimum language requirement for this program is two years of university-level language instruction in Spanish or German (or the equivalent) if the student is interested in interning in Argentina or Germany, respectively. This means that the student should have taken or placed into the equivalent of four semesters of his or her target language by the beginning of the fellowship. The student’s language skills will be assessed during the interview process.

What kinds of companies offer internships?

Internships placements can be in a number of different types of establishments. For example: nonprofits, educational or community centers, foundations, small family-owned businesses, governmental institutions, corporations, engineering firms, etc.

How long does the placement process take?

This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months after acceptance into the program. The fellow’s personal resume and previous experience coupled with each employer’s respective schedule often dictates how quickly a position can be found.

What is the $200 deposit for, and when will I get it back?

This is required to ensure participation on the fellowship, and to cover any outstanding balances that might be accrued during your time abroad. The student will receive the $200 deposit back after successful completion of the fellowship (including the Fellows in Service portion) without incident.

Will I have an opportunity to travel while interning abroad?

Cultural Vistas encourages fellows to explore as much as possible during their time abroad; however, please keep in mind that fellows are expected to maintain a consistent presence at their internship. Travel can only take place after work and on weekends.

Will I receive school credit for my internship?

Credit is given at the discretion of each respective college or university. Be sure to speak with a coordinator (at many institutions this would be an academic, study abroad, or career advisor) at your school before beginning the internship to arrange proper credit. Cultural Vistas is able to provide a letter certifying participation in the program should the university request it.