The application deadline is January 6; all applications must be submitted online by 11:59 pm EST.
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.
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 sophomore or junior at the time of application.
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.
The current focus of this fellowship is on civic engagement and youth involvement. Interested applicants should have a background – educational, professional, or volunteer – that shows their interest in and commitment to this focus.
Cultural Vistas encourages applicants to draw on a broad definition of ‘civic engagement and youth involvement’ when considering the fellowship program.
Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. A morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric, and to take action when appropriate.
Youth participation is the active engagement of young people throughout their own communities. It is often used as a shorthand for youth participation in any many forms, including decision-making, sports, schools and any activity where young people are not historically engaged.
We encourage you to think creatively about your own interpretation of the theme. Your internship in your target country does not necessarily need to be directly involved in the theme of the program, but all Fellows are expected to engage with the theme throughout program-related orientations and seminars.
Excerpts from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000.
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.
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.
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
Each of the following questions should be answered with a maximum of 200 words:
1. Please describe your understanding of the term civic engagement OR youth involvement. Explain how you demonstrate a commitment to your chosen concept in your program of study, volunteer or professional experience. Why do you think your host country is a good place to learn about this concept?
2. What sort of work could you realistically see yourself doing in your host country, given your foreign language abilities and/or previous work/volunteer/academic experience? What are some hard skills you can offer your host organization?
3. What do you envision will be valuable about your internship experience in the host country? Please identify two professional and two personal objectives you intend to meet during your experience.
4. Describe your vision and goals for your “Fellows in Service” project.
5. Keeping in mind the goals of the Cultural Vistas Fellowship, please explain why you believe you deserve this opportunity over other candidates in one sentence.
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 civic engagement and youth involvement, 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.
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.
Letters of recommendation should be addressed To Whom It May Concern, or to the "Members of the Selection Committee".
Please only have two letters of recommendation sent. Any additional letters will not be read.
Yes, the application form must be completed in full.
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.
All internships are unpaid.
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 have a focus on deep cultural immersion and gaining new perspectives on how people think and work in another culture.
Cultural Vistas works together with partner organizations in Argentina, Germany and India to secure internship placements for the fellows.
To the greatest extent possible, the working languages will be Spanish (Argentina) and German (Germany). In India, fellows will speak English.
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.
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.
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.
Please see Fellows in Service.
U.S. citizens are able to enter and stay in Argentina for up to 90 days with their U.S. passport.
Fellows will receive a residency permit that will allow them to intern for the duration of their stay.
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.
Students will be provided emergency health insurance coverage while they are abroad. They should keep their U.S.-based insurance during the program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.