To help speed up lagging refugee admissions, the Biden administration has introduced a new private sponsorship program called Welcome Corps. The program will enlist groups of everyday Americans to sponsor refugees abroad and support their resettlement.
These programs can provide scholarships for a variety of international study opportunities. Internships or professional development activities often accompany them to help students gain hands-on experience in their chosen field.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship program of the U.S. Department of State and aims to increase binational research collaboration, cultural understanding, and the exchange of ideas. It is the largest international educational exchange program and operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.
Fulbright grants allow individuals to lecture, research, and pursue short- or long-term professional projects abroad. It is open to college and university faculty and administrators, professionals, artists, journalists, scientists, lawyers, and independent scholars.
In addition, Fulbright also offers a range of student programs for graduating seniors, graduate students and young professionals. These include the English Teaching Assistant (ETA) component, which sends Fulbright grantees to schools for one academic year as teachers to help strengthen their students’ language skills and knowledge of the United States.
The program promotes mutual understanding and seeks applicants who will become cultural ambassadors abroad. It requires applicants to describe how they plan to share their culture and values in their host community and how they will contribute to the Fulbright mission of promoting cross-cultural understanding and exchange.
Boren Graduate Fellowships
Boren Graduate Fellowships, administered by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), provide funding for a year of intensive language study and cultural immersion. These awards help students become more competitive in the job market and prepare for careers critical to U.S. national security and public service.
The program focuses on geographic areas and languages critical to U.S. national security, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia and Latin America. Preference is given to applicants studying languages not widely spoken in the United States.
In addition, applicants are evaluate based on their language learning abilities, cultural engagement and adaptability, and commitment to a federal national security service career. These qualities can be demonstrate through previous coursework, language experiences abroad or serious self-study.
Students who accept a Boren award must complete one year of service in the federal government after graduation. This can include Peace Corps or ROTC service, work for the Department of State or USAID and other agencies.
Coro Fellows Program
The Coro Fellows Program is one of the nation’s leading programs for aspiring leaders. It has helped strengthen the democratic process and fueled positive change for over 76 years.
The Fellows Program is a nine-month, graduate-level, experiential leadership training program focusing on developing the next generation of change-makers to accelerate positive impact in their communities. The program used the city as a classroom, bringing together a diverse group of aspiring change makers to learn through placements in business, government, nonprofit, labour and campaign sectors, with opportunities to work with key influencers and thought leaders shaping urban agendas.
Fellows are selecte from a competitive applicant pool and join an intimate cohort for the full-time nine-month program. They gain hands-on experience through seven individualized internship placements and build strong connections that will support their drive to lead in their communities. They also receive a monthly stipend to defray living expenses throughout the program.
The Welcome Corps is a new initiative that seeks to recruit everyday Americans to volunteer for private sponsorship of refugees. The program will provide a life-saving platform for American communities to extend their generosity and support in refugee resettlement.
Launched by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), the Welcome Corps will fulfill President Biden’s commitment to developing private sponsorship of the refugees program. It also serves as an important part of the government’s efforts to “strengthen, modernize, and expand the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program,” as outlined in Executive Order 14301.
The program invites private sponsors to form groups of five or more individuals to identify and sponsor refugees. Individuals who join a PSG must pass a background check and sign a PSG commitment form. They will also be subject to security and health screenings. The refugees they sponsor will arrive in the United States a few weeks after they are approved by their PSG’s Welcome Corps team members and will be supported until they are ready to begin building a new life in their home community.