Oh, so you want to work abroad? Have you been searching for overseas fellowships? Ways to pursue an international career? Or maybe you want to find the perfect opportunity where you can work and travel? If any of these sound like you, this post is for you.
As a former Fulbright Fellow myself, I know international fellowships can be highly competitive. It took me multiple revisions of my essays, thoughtful choices for my recommendation letters, and daily positive affirmations to remind myself I am worthy of whichever opportunity came my way. The first (and perhaps the hardest) step was knowing where to find overseas fellowships in the first place!
This is where I come in to help. In a previous post, I covered 23 Master’s, fellowship, and teaching programs. In that post, each one is an opportunity for you to do work you enjoy and live and learn in other countries.
However, this post will focus solely on those coveted international fellowships that are sure to put you ahead in your global ambitions. Whether you want to jumpstart your career or change it, here are some overseas fellowships just waiting for you to apply.
Table of Contents
Humanity in Action Fellowship
Location: Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Sarajevo, Atlanta, and USA
If you are passionate about social justice, whether in your home country or internationally, this may be the international fellowship for you. Humanity in Action is the ideal opportunity for those wanting to expand their current work in democracy, pluralism, human rights, and social justice. They offer 4-week long summer opportunities through their Amsterdam Fellowship, John Lewis Fellowship in Atlanta, GA, Berlin Fellowship, Copenhagen Fellowship, Sarajevo Fellowship, and Warsaw Fellowship. Don’t count out short-term overseas fellowships! Sometimes they can lead to career changing and long-term opportunities. Be on the lookout for a Humanity in Action Fellowship application opening next year.
Donald M. Payne International Development Graduate Fellowship Program
Location: U.S & Overseas
Combining graduate school and international opportunities, the Payne fellowship is an overseas fellowship too good to pass up. With a focus on International Development, Payne Fellows are those students entering graduate school in the U.S. who want to pursue a career in Foreign Service with USAID. One of the most comprehensive international fellowships, the Payne Fellowship provides funding for graduate school in the U.S, internships at U.S embassies, and professional development opportunities too. The benefits amount to a maximum total of $96,000 USD. If you’re looking for an entryway into an international career, the Payne Fellowship may be just the one for you.
Fulbright National Geographic Fellowship
The Fulbright Nat Geo is an overseas fellowship with a focus on digital media and storytelling. It’s a field that many dream of pursuing and provides a meaningful way for digital creators to live abroad. Applicants focus on a globally-relevant issue and incorporate forms of media to tell the story. Recipients share their stories on National Geographic, and receive professional development techniques in the areas of photography, video production, blogging, and more. Some experience in digital production is helpful, as you submit a portfolio of your past experiences in the digital world. This application is also different from other Fulbright programming, therefore it is important to read the website carefully.
German Chancellor Fellowship
The German Chancellor Fellowship is for prospective leaders to pursue a self-designed project in their area of expertise in Germany. Prospective applicants of the Chancellor Fellowship are tasked with creating their own, socially relevant project with a lasting impact on their prospective careers. Most projects link their expertise in their own countries to issues that Germany is also facing. Selected fellows receive German language training, a monthly grant, and additional financial and professional support throughout the duration of the fellowship. This is an overseas fellowship open to candidates in the USA, the Russian Federation, Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, and India. Starting in March 2021, the program will open up for South African applicants too.
For those graduate students wanting to incorporate a global opportunity into your studies, the Boren Fellowship is worth a shot. These are short-term and long-term overseas fellowships, with a minimum of 12 weeks and maximum of 52 weeks, for you to pursue. The main priority or focus of a Boren award is for language study in addition to research, coursework, or an internship. However, do not get this international fellowship confused with the Boren Scholarship – they are different. It is important to read the requirements carefully. Also, it should be noted that this is an overseas fellowship for students enrolled or currently in a U.S. graduate program.
Princeton in Latin America (PiLA)
Locations: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, United States of America, and Uruguay
PiLA is an overseas fellowship opportunity for interested applicants to apply their areas of interest in Latin America and the Caribbean. PiLA fellows can work in a variety of professional settings based on the current program partners. These fields can include environmental studies, sustainability, education, global health, marketing, girl’s rights, and more. Applicants will need to submit a resume, application fee of $100, unofficial transcripts, a letter of recommendation, and an online application. If you are a Spanish speaker, this is an ideal international fellowship for you to apply your skills. Professional/advanced Spanish language is required.
VIA Global Community Fellowship
Locations: Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam
Opportunities to go live and work in Asia are up next! The VIA Global Community Fellowship is an overseas fellowship for those who want to immerse themselves in either Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, or Vietnam. VIA programs hope “to promote cross-cultural understanding, build partnerships, and offer transformative experiences for our participants and the communities they serve.” The main programmatic areas they focus on are education, training and capacity building, and community development. If those are your areas of training and education, head over to VIA’s website to learn more.
Institute for Current World Affairs Fellowship (ICWA)
The Institute for Current World Affairs (ICWA) is one of the more flexible overseas fellowships that merges journalism with international affairs. According to their website, ICWA “advances deep knowledge of global cultures and affairs” by supporting fellows for two-year immersive programs of independent research and writing abroad. Proposals for this international fellowship must hold the promise of enriching public life in the United States by advancing the understanding of foreign countries, cultures and trends. Applicant topics are in the area of public service or social activism, and should be an interest that benefits the public. Letters of interest are normally due in December with fellows being chosen the following June.
Princeton in Asia
Locations: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong S.A.R., Macau S.A.R., Taiwan, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam
Similar to Princeton in Latin America and Princeton in Africa, this overseas fellowship is the Asian counterpart to those programs. The program’s mission is “to foster mutual appreciation and cultural understanding by connecting service-minded graduates and partner organizations in Asia through immersive work experiences that transform perspectives, cultivate long-lasting friendships and benefit local and global communities.” The available types of positions for Princeton in Asia Fellows include teaching in kindergartens, secondary schools, polytechnics, and universities. Other opportunities can be working with international and local nonprofits, as well as some of Asia’s most innovative businesses and social enterprises. Past recipients of this overseas fellowship have also written for newspapers and created content for other media outlets with international audiences.
Global Health Corps (GHC)
Locations: USA, Burundi, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania
Though rooted in improving Global Health, this international fellowship has seen people of all backgrounds represented. Fellows have come from areas that include engineering, computer science, architecture, finance, and agriculture. Applications need to be submitted in January, and fellows work in teams of two: one fellow from the placement country and an international fellow. Work placements vary every year based on community needs, and is open to everyone, with emphasis on citizens of Malawi, Uganda, USA, Rwanda, and Zambia. Throughout the 13 months, GHC is an overseas fellowship that offers fellows a living stipend and leadership training. These opportunities provide a well-rounded view of global health and how to create better systems to address it, so check out the website to browse your various opportunities.
Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Location: Africa, Asia, North America, Oceania
Public service, statistics, and economics come together in this international fellowship sponsored by the Overseas Development Institute. ODI Fellows can apply their knowledge and skills to over 40 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Unlike most overseas fellowships, you must have a Master’s degree or PhD in Economics, Econometrics, Statistics, or a related field. Additionally, ODI is specifically looking for people who specialize in agricultural, environmental, international, health or development economics. You must also be willing to commit to two-years in any of the participating countries. Language skills in French, Portuguese, and Swahili are desired as well, but not required.
Locations: South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, Mongolia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Japan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Philippines, Hong Kong, Laos, and China
Since this program has a partnership with 70 universities in the U.S., the Luce Scholars program is a bit more selective than other overseas fellowships listed. Scholars work in fields such as Journalism, Law, Tech, Business, and International Education, with an organization in the locations mentioned above. To apply, prospective applicants need to be undergraduate or graduate school alumni of the partner universities. You can check which schools are partners, and if you qualify feel free to apply! Also, contrary to the “scholar” title, Luce Scholars is not for those who want to pursue a degree in Asia. Applications are submitted by the institutions in November, with only 18 people chosen each year for this international fellowship experience.
For applicants in the mid-career professionals range, the Chevening Fellowship is waiting! Chevening is for that professional seeking an overseas fellowship that increases your knowledge, networks, and potential. The international fellowship also offers tailored short courses, research, or professional placements at UK institutions for you to learn and grow. Chevening applicants research subject matters that are relevant both to the UK and the applicant’s home country. Some level of higher education is required for Chevening Fellows too. Past fellows have worked in the arts, cyber security, journalism, public service, and so-on.
LGT Impact Fellowship
Location: Latin America, Africa, India, and Europe
A one-year overseas fellowship, LGT Impact is for those interested in the business and social impact space. Past fellows worked in areas such as community health, eco-tourism, agriculture, supply chain and logistics, and maternal child health. You can use this international fellowship to work at a for-profit or non-profit organization from LGT Venture Philanthropy affiliates. The purpose of the LGT Fellowship is to help streamline and scale organizations with significant social or environmental impact and ambitious targets to grow. The fellows are compensated and the funds allow for basic cost coverage of local living costs such as housing, food, regular transport & communication.
AIF Clinton Fellowship
The AIF Clinton program is an overseas fellowship opportunity to live and work in India for 10-months. Focused on capacity-building in areas such as livelihoods, education, and health, AIF is an overseas fellowship with volunteering and public service at its core. AIF offers funding for its fellows, including a roundtrip ticket, insurance coverage, emergency support, and a monthly living stipend. The stipend allows for AIF Fellows to live like the locals. Alumni of this international fellowship have traditionally gone on to work in the areas of international development, education, social entrepreneurship, academia, technology, business, journalism, public health, human rights, and more.
Location: Hong Kong
The AsiaGlobal Fellows Program is another overseas fellowship for mid-career professionals. The program is for future leaders and influencers with a deep understanding of global policy issues from Asian perspectives. To bridge their experiences with this international fellowship, they develop and cultivate their long-term ties from around the world with Asia. AsiaGlobal is an interdisciplinary opportunity that takes place at the University of Hong Kong. If you are a global thinker, practitioner, policymaker, or academic looking for an international experience in Asia, apply!
High North Fellowship
Location: Northern Norway
Have you always wanted to study in Norway? Well, the High North Fellowship may be the perfect overseas fellowship for you. You are eligible if you are from Canada, Japan, Russia, South Korea, or the U.S and studying at a higher education institution in northern Norway. Each international fellowship recipient receives a monthly stipend and matching travel grant to support themselves during the opportunity. Institutions of higher education in Norway do not charge tuition from international students, thus the stipend is intended to cover High North Fellows’ housing and living expenses. The fields you can study include natural resource management, technology, natural resources, environment, and social sciences relevant to the oil and gas sector. Other areas include indigenous studies, business development, business administration and tourism, environmental studies, health and relevant subjects within humanities and social sciences.
The Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships Program
Location: Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, and Switzerland
With their overseas fellowship, the Ibrahim Leadership Program supports aspiring African leaders. The fellowships offer the opportunity for Africans to be mentored and work in the executive offices of various institutions. A prominent international fellowship, the partnering institutions include the International Trade Centre, African Development Bank, and ECA. Fellows will live in Abidjan, Addis Ababa, or Geneva and they receive an annual stipend of $100,000. Though many of these fellowships are geared towards U.S. citizens, this is an overseas fellowship for nationals of an African country under the age of 40 or 45, who also has 7 to 10 years experience, and a Master’s degree.
Princeton in Africa (PiA)
Locations: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Eswatini, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.
PiA Fellows are able to work in international NGOs while pursuing this overseas fellowship. These organizations include the International Rescue Committee, African School of Economics, Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative, and more. Fellows work in fields such as Global Health, Education, Immigration, Monitoring and Evaluation, Economic Development, etc. There are also other fees that applicants need to cover, such as an application fee and a program placement fee. Benefits include PiA covering amenities such as housing and living stipend, certain visas/work permits, and medical, medical evacuation, security evacuation insurance.
Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program
Referred to as Leland Fellows, there are about 15 recipients every year who work in food and nutrition justice for this international fellowship. Fellows receive professional development training throughout their time, are matched with an organization based on their interests, participate in semi-finalist interviews, etc. Also, Leland is an overseas fellowship with a two-round process that can take five months to complete! Past cohort recipients worked in countries such as Uganda, India, South Sudan, Ghana, Zambia, Tanzania, Guatemala, Malawi, and Italy. Submit your application and the accompanying materials by the January deadline to qualify.
Applying for overseas fellowships can be a tedious task with all the paperwork and applications. However, all your hard work and research will pay off in the end regardless if you get the overseas fellowship or not! International fellowships can be stepping stones to impactful experiences you will never forget. Again, I want to see you win, build your dream international career, and pursue those exciting travel experiences. Good luck.
Disclaimer: Sojournies is not affiliated with any of the international fellowship programs listed and information presented are my own and do not represent any of these organizations and their affiliates.