Atlas Corps is now accepting applications for Atlas Corps Fellowship 2020-21 in the United States of America. The duration of the fully-funded international fellowship in the USA is 12-18 months. The Atlas fellowship 2019 will cover all the expenses of the selected candidates. There is no application fee and it is one of the best fellowships in the United States. 

The Atlas Corps Fellowship is a 12-18 month Fellowship in the United States for the world’s top social change leaders. Fellows serve full-time at Host Organizations to develop leadership skills and learn effective practices through the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab professional development series and networking opportunities with other Fellows.

Participants of the Atlas Corps fellowship receive health insurance, flight, and visa costs, and a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing). Please scroll down to learn more.

The Fellowship allows participants to engage in group cultural activities like a D.C. Monuments Tour, sporting events, U.S. holiday celebrations, and more.  Atlas Corps sponsors the J-1 Trainee visa and covers most visa expenses. Atlas Corps also provides each Fellow with a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing), a monthly phone plan, emergency health and travel insurance, and round-trip international airfare.

Through this Fellowship, Atlas Corps seeks to advance the U.S. State Department Education and Cultural Exchange Bureau’s Mission: To promote mutual understanding through people-to-people exchanges and to further U.S. foreign policy objectives by engaging international exchange visitors and American communities in a diversity of positive, safe, and enriching educational, cultural and professional exchange programs.

Atlas Corps Fellowship 2019-2020 Details:

Host Country:

  • United States of America

Host Organisation:

  • Atlas Service Corps, Inc. (Atlas Corps)

Fellowship Duration:

  • 12-18 Months Fellowship in the USA

Financial Support:

Participants in this prestigious paid fellowship receive:

  •  Program-related international travel
  • Program-related domestic travel
  • Basic health insurance that covers new injuries and illnesses
  • Monthly stipend for basic living expenses (shared housing, food, local transportation, and a phone plan)
  • Documentation (DS-2019) that enables the Fellow to obtain a J-1 visa.
  • Placement at a Host Organization
  • Participation in the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab (leadership development training series)

What does the stipend cover?

As volunteers, Fellows receive a modest living stipend intended to cover only shared housing, food, and local public transportation. Atlas Corps also provides all incoming Atlas Corps Fellows with a SIM card and phone plan. The stipend is not intended to cover expenses you may have in your home country; eating out at restaurants; buying new clothes; or emergencies. While Fellows are able to keep their basic expenses (food, shared housing and local transportation) within the allotted stipend, many choose to bring additional funds for personal items, such as clothing, travel, or entertainment.

Monthly budgets vary from city to city, but a suggested monthly living budget for a Fellow in Washington, DC, is as follows:

  • Rent & Utilities: $950
  • Transportation: $150
  • Phone Plan: $32
  • Food: $400
  • Other small necessities: $125

Total $1657/month

Eligibility Criteria:

The eligibility criteria of the Atlas Corps international fellowship program is given below:

  • Two or more years of relevant experience
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • English proficiency (oral, writing, reading)
  • Age 35 or younger
  • Apply to serve in a country other than where you are from (U.S. citizens are not eligible for the U.S. Fellowship)
  • Commitment to return to your home country after the 12-18 month Fellowship
  • Commitment to living on a basic stipend that only covers food, shared housing, and local transportation

For more explanation of these requirements, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.

How to Apply for a fully-funded fellowship in the USA?

Atlas Corps considers applications on a rolling basis, though we encourage you to apply as soon as possible to be considered for Host Organization placements. The application is a multi-step process. Our Fellow Classes start four times a year: January, April, July, and October.

1. Application & Selection Board Review

Applicants are required to register for an account and save their login information through our online application system so that they can return to the application at any time.

The application includes a brief eligibility test to determine if applicants meet the basic requirements of the Fellowship. Once applicants pass that initial eligibility test, they will be asked to give information on their passport, travel/visa history, language skills, employment history, professional skills, and social issue areas. They will also be asked to complete three short essay questions.

The application also requires additional attachments:

A. An official transcript or diploma from previously attended universities.

B. Two Recommendations: Applicants are required to submit contact information for at least two recommenders who know them in a professional capacity. Applicants will need to send their requests directly through the application system. Their recommenders will receive an email that asks for a recommendation. More detailed instructions can be found in the online application form.

Applicants may submit the online application before they upload their transcript/diploma and before the recommenders complete their forms. However, applicants will not be able to proceed to the later steps of the selection process until the entire application is complete. At that stage, the Atlas Corps Selection Board will review applications to determine to select strong applicants to move on to the interview stage. The Atlas Corps Selection board includes the Atlas Corps staff and nonprofit sector, government, and business leaders from multiple countries.

2. Selection Board Interview (by invitation only)

Atlas Corps selects top applicants who have the potential to match potential Host Organization placements for an interview via Skype with the Atlas Corps Selection Board.

3. Host Organization Review (by invitation only)

When you apply for the Atlas Corps Fellowship, you’re not applying for a specific Host Organization or a specific start date. You are applying for the opportunity to be considered by Atlas Corps and potential Host Organizations for placements starting throughout the year. Applicants that pass the interview stage will be designated a Semi-Finalist which means they are eligible to be reviewed by potential Host Organizations for placements based on their interests and skillset and the organization’s needs.

Please note that we review applicants based not just on eligibility and quality of their applications, but also on how well they fit with the desired profiles our potential Host Organizations are looking for at any given time, so some applicants may advance more quickly through the process than others. In some cases, strong applicants may be selected for the Fellowship in as little as 3-4 months after they submitted their application. In other cases, strong applicants may be considered for multiple classes, potentially longer than a year, before matching with a Host Organization placement.

4. Host Organization Interview (by invitation only)

Host Organizations invite Semi-Finalists that best match their positions to conduct Skype video interviews with them, moving on to the Finalist stage. The Host Organization may ask for additional information from the Finalists, such as sample assignments.

5. Selection and Visa Process

Host Organizations will make their final recommendations to Atlas Corps, and Atlas Corps will notify the selected applicants. After being selected, Fellows will go to the U.S. Embassy in their respective countries to apply for a J-1 visa. Atlas Corps will provide support in obtaining this visa.

Semi-Finalists who are not selected by a Host Organization will be notified and may be given the option to keep their application on file for consideration for the next class of the Fellowship. Atlas Corps will continually reassess Semi-Finalists to determine if they are still in consideration for future Fellowship placements. Semi-Finalists MUST update their availability through their account every 2-4 months in order to remain in consideration for the Fellowship and to be eligible to have their application sent to prospective Hosts. Semi-Finalists will periodically receive a reminder email to do so.

Some Tips for a Great Application?

1. Think about what is distinctive and impressive about you and be sure to communicate these things! If you’re having a hard time with this, try asking a friend, colleague, or parent what they think is most impressive about you.

2. Have an English-speaking friend proofread your application to make sure your writing is understandable and has good spelling and grammar.

3. Give specific details and examples when you’re describing your skills and interests. If you say you manage volunteers, how many volunteers do you manage? If you work in fundraising, how much money have you raised or how many successful grant applications have you worked on?

Timeline:

Atlas Corps receives hundreds of applications each month. Each of the steps listed above may take approximately 1-3 months. The vetting process may take several months to complete. We prioritize applications that may be best suited to our available Host Organization Placements. Applicants will advance at different rates.

We recommend submitting your application as soon as possible to initiate the review process. You may apply at any time, so please do not wait for any deadlines. If you are accepted to the Fellowship, there may be a quick turnaround time between your acceptance and the beginning of the Fellowship.

Final decisions about each class of Fellows are made approximately 6-8 weeks before the class begins. Fellowship start dates are not flexible and assuming your visa is approved, you must begin your Fellowship with the class to which you are accepted.

Application Deadline:

  • Priority deadline is May 1st to be considered for Fellowships beginning in January 2021.

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