How to Apply for a WFI International Fellowship
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Who Can Apply
Fellowship candidates should meet these minimum qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the field of forestry, natural resources, or other related degree. Alternatively, candidates with at least five years of natural resources work experience may apply.
- If your last degree was earned over a year ago, please show proof on your resume of at least one year of work experience in the natural resources field since receiving your degree. Significant work experience is preferred.
- Proficiency in English, both written and spoken.
- At least 21 years of age.
- Initial research proposal on a topic relevant to forestry or natural resources in the home country. The project should take advantage being in the Pacific Northwest, you must show how working in the Pacific Northwest will further your professional goals, and how are you planning on applying it back home.
- Ability to be self-motivated, to work independently towards a clear research goal or output, and to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
How to Apply
- Download Application. Download and complete the WFI Application in full. All sections must be completed including the financial section. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. If you are unsure whether a project you have in mind would meet our criteria, please us with a short description of your intended project before submitting an application.
- Submit Application and CV. Email your complete application along with your CV or resume to WFI Sr. Programs Manager, Chandalin Bennett, . Please do not send a CV or letter of interest without a completed application form. It is free to apply.
- Interview with WFI. Once your application has been reviewed you will receive notice of whether or not you have been selected for an interview. Interviews are conducted via Skype and last approximately 30 minutes. The interview is intended to be a conversation about your goals for the program and for us each to determine if WFI is the right fit.
- Interview with Experience International. If you are selected as a finalist after your first interview, you will then go through a second Skype interview with our partners Experience International, who will determine your eligibility for the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. Reference checks will be done by WFI at this time as well. After both interviews are complete and we have received notice from both of your references, you will receive notice from us of whether or not you have been accepted into the program.
- Submit Visa Application. If you are accepted, you will begin the process of applying for the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program if you are a foreign citizen. This application process is lengthy and requires a different application form and additional documentation. There are fees associated with applying for the J-1 program. Please visit our Costs and Sponsorship page for more information on visa program fees and the visa application process.
2017 Application Timeline and Fellowship Start Dates
The open application period for the 2017 Fellowship Program is August 1, 2016 to November 30, 2016. We must receive your WFI application by the November 30th deadline in order to be considered for the Fellowship program in 2017. Please keep in mind that our application is just the first step in the application process.
We have one start date for the 2017 Fellowship Program.
The 2017 Fellowship Program starts on April 3, 2017. This start date is firm and you should plan to arrive in Portland, Oregon at least 15 days before your start date in order to find housing and get settled in. If you are accepted into the program, you will be sent further information about how to plan for your travel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can WFI provide full scholarships or funding for the Fellowship program?
No. WFI cannot provide full funding for the Fellowship due to high demand and limited resources. Applicants must find their own source of funding for at least 50% of the WFI Fellowship fee and for the J-1 visa program fee, and they are responsible for their own travel costs.
What is expected from me when I apply?
Your project proposal should clearly outline your learning objectives (see above). We understand that in the course of your time here, you may have to adapt your proposal. You will also need to secure at least half of the funding for your Fellowship. Additionally, we recommend securing supplemental funding for items not covered by the program (such as travel). Aside from that, bring an open mind, a positive attitude, initiative and rain gear!
What type of visa do Fellows come to the US on?
Fellows arrive on a J-1 visa through the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. The visa program application is handled by a third-party organization, Experience International. The J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program is designed to allow participants to come to the United States to gain exposure to US culture and receive training in US business practices in their chosen field. Upon completion of the program, participants are expected to return to their home countries where they will be able to utilize their newly learned skills and knowledge to advance their careers, and to share their experience with their peers and others.
Does WFI provide housing for me?
No. Fellows are responsible for finding their own housing accommodations while in Portland. WFI can assist with this. Typically, Fellows rent a room out of someone’s house or are hosted by a family while they are here. Craigslist Portland is a useful website for finding housing.