With the support of a grant from President Lee C. Bollinger, the Presidential Global Fellowship offers first-year undergraduates who are seeking to develop a strong global foundation and a deeper understanding of the world around them with a unique opportunity to enrich their Columbia education beginning in the summer after their first year.
The Fellowship will provide funding for participation on a Columbia summer study abroad program to a highly select group of intellectually curious students who are able to imagine how an overseas experience can influence their examination of critical issues and who are committed to finding meaningful ways to engage a broad range of global topics throughout their undergraduate career.
To accommodate a broad range of interests, the Fellowship provides structured advising and enhanced programming that supports the development of individualized global education plans. These customized plans help guide the Fellows while they study abroad and when they return so they may make the best use of the University’s global networks on campus and in the world beyond College Walk.
Presidential Global Fellows will:
• Discover a new perspective about an academic discipline, body of knowledge, or specific issue;
• Build a knowledge base and network that empowers them to continue exploring global opportunities and supports them as they integrate their experiences into life back on campus;
• Develop core global competencies such as cultural knowledge, foreign language skills, critical thinking, and cross-cultural communication skills.
Each Presidential Global Fellowship includes:
• A scholarship that covers the program fee for a Columbia summer study abroad program;
• A stipend to cover round-trip airfare to and from the program site plus living expenses recommended by the program;
• Enhanced advising that focuses on how the Fellows can channel their global experiences into future intellectual, professional, and personal pursuits;
• Activities before and after the study abroad program that deepen the relationships between Fellows, including group advising and shared reflection sessions.
Eligibility & Application
Candidates for the Presidential Global Fellowship must:
• Be a matriculated student with first-year standing in Columbia College, Columbia Engineering or the School of General Studies;
• Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better by the end of the fall term;
• Apply and be accepted to a Columbia-Led Summer Study Abroad Program; and
• Be committed to the goals of the fellowship.
Applicants must apply to both Columbia-Led Summer Program as well as directly to the Presidential Global Fellowship.
Applicants should complete the Fellowship application by the Fellowship deadline. Applicants are also responsible for completing a Columbia Summer Program application by the program deadline.
Selected applicants must be available to participate in a pre-selection interview in February.
To view the list of available Summer Programs, visit the Columbia-Led Programs for the Summer Term. Please note that all Global Scholars Programs are NOT eligible for this fellowship. Please note that these eligible programs may change each year. Students must always verify that they meet the individual program eligibility requirements in order to apply.
Summer 2020 Eligible Programs
- Columbia Summer Core in Berlin: Art Humanities and Music Humanities
- Columbia Summer Core in Paris: Art Humanities and Music Humanities
- Columbia Summer in Amman: Arabic Language
- Columbia Summer in Beijing: Business Chinese
- Columbia Summer in Beijing: Chinese Language
- Columbia Summer in Greece: Athens Curatorial Project
- Columbia Summer in Paris
- Columbia Summer in Venice
- Kyoto Consortium (KCJS) Summer: Classical Japanese
- Kyoto Consortium (KCJS) Summer: Modern Japanese
- SEE-U Jordan: Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates
- SEE-U NYC: Summer Ecosystem Experiences for Undergraduates
Program Responsibilities and Expectations
Presidential Global Fellows are required to participate in all activities that will be scheduled before and after the summer study abroad experience. Fellows are expected to complete all reading and writing assignments in order to make the most of the enhanced advising and the overseas experience. To that end, Fellows will:
• Participate in all mandatory pre-departure and re-entry meetings after their acceptance to the Fellowship;
• Attend on-campus pre-departure orientation session for the summer program;
• Complete the summer study abroad program by fully participating in the academic program and pursuing their individualized global education plans;
• Participate in ongoing Presidential Global Fellowship community projects to promote international opportunities to the wider Columbia University community;
• Complete all assignments as communicated by the Center for Undergraduate Global Engagement before, during, and after the summer program;
• Participate in advising sessions to explore future international opportunities, including internships, fellowships, study abroad, and research during their tenure at Columbia and beyond; and
• Assist in building the Fellowship program by mentoring future Fellows and participating in program-related activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am not a first year student. Am I eligible to apply?
What is considered first year standing for School of General Studies students?
Are non-U.S. citizens eligible to apply?
Am I eligible to apply if I plan to study on a summer program not administered by Columbia?
How can I choose a program that might be appropriate for me?
Can I apply to more than one Columbia Summer Program?
Who can I ask to write my recommendation?
How many students will receive the Fellowship?
What is included in the Fellowship?
What is the selection process and time frame?
Who can answer my questions?
Only current first-year students in Columbia College, Columbia Engineering and the School of General Studies are eligible. The goal of this program is to foster a greater understanding of the world among undergraduates and to help students envision new ways of engaging with global topics and opportunities throughout their time at Columbia. First-year students who are influenced early on by their global experience will bring these new perspectives back to campus and share these with their classmates through interactions both inside and outside of the classroom.
GS students are considered current first-year students, and are eligible to apply to this Fellowship, if they have no more than 36 cumulative credits (inclusive of transfer credit) by the start of the summer program. GS students with transfer credit are encouraged to consult a GS adviser if they are in question of their class standing.
Yes, non-U.S. citizens are eligible to apply.
The Presidential Global Fellowship is only available to select students who plan on studying on one of the Columbia summer programs as a way to strengthen the network of global relationships among members of the Columbia community.
For more detailed information, please go to the Columbia-Led programs section of this website. Check each program’s website for more specific information. Plan to come to an information session or talk with a UGE adviser.
Can I apply to more than one Columbia Summer Program?
No, you can only apply to one Columbia Summer Program.
You should ask someone who you feel can articulate and support your ability and motivation to develop and follow through on your vision and effort to globalize your Columbia education. This person can be a Columbia faculty, adviser, or someone who you worked closely with in high school or in another capacity.
This will depend on the pool of applicants, but each cohort is between 10-15 Fellows.
The fellowship will provide specialized advising sessions and programming to help fellows identify global opportunities and how they can enhance their experiences at Columbia and their future intellectual, professional and personal goals.
Each Fellow will be awarded a scholarship that covers the program fee for a Columbia summer study abroad program in addition to a stipend to cover round-trip airfare to and from the program site plus living expenses recommended by the program.
A committee will review the Fellowship application to select candidates who will be interviewed in late January/early February. Fellowship awardees will be notified in February. These finalists will also be notified about acceptance to the Columbia summer program around the same time. For some summer programs, the decisions might be made earlier than the Fellowship decision. Acceptance into a Columbia Summer Program does not automatically mean that a Fellowship will be awarded.
I have more questions and I would like to speak with an adviser. Who can answer my questions?
1. Columbia Summer Programs Information Sessions and Advising:
Information sessions for specific Columbia summer programs will take place in October or November, and information will be posted in the Events section of this site. Students are welcome to meet with a UGE adviser or come to a First Steps meeting.
2. Fellowships Advising:
If you are working on your application and need to speak to an adviser about your essays, you can meet with an adviser in Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
3. Center for Career Education quick questions:
Center for Career Education holds daily meetings that are ten minutes long from 1-4 pm and allows students to meet with a counselor without a prior appointment for answers to quick questions.
Current Fellows and Alumni
Press releases for previous cohorts of Presidential Global Fellows can be found below.