Columbia College announces new Presidential Global Fellowship

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dean of Columbia College and Vice President for Undergraduate Education James J. Valentini today announced a new undergraduate global opportunity, the Presidential Global Fellowship, which will provide support for 15 rising sophomores in Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Columbia School of General Studies to study abroad during the summer of 2014.

The Presidential Global Fellowship program, funded with a seed grant from Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, covers the program fee associated with a Columbia global program, as well as a stipend to cover round-trip airfare and living expenses, for students to study in a location at or near one of the Columbia Global Centers.

“This program extends College Walk, giving our students opportunities to study abroad in many of the cities where we have Global Centers — Amman, Beijing, Paris, Istanbul or Rio de Janeiro — or in nearby cities like Shanghai or Venice,” says Dean Valentini. “Our goal as a college is to prepare students to be involved and effective global citizens — and engaging people, places and ideas throughout the world is a big part of that.”

“For a student, global experiences open up a whole new way of experiencing the world in addition to the classic forms,” says University President Lee C. Bollinger. “The Global Fellowship will help undergraduates take advantage of unprecedented opportunities for self-directed research and learning available now because of Columbia’s network of global centers and other developments across the University which are enhancing the profoundly international character of this institution.”

The program is unique in that it will include a group orientation and specialized advising sessions to help fellows identify how their global opportunities can enhance their experiences at Columbia and their future intellectual, professional and personal goals. Through a pre-departure symposium organized by the Office of the President and the Office of Global Programs, participating students will have access to special roundtable discussions about globalization, including a lecture given by President Bollinger, and the opportunity to meet with policymakers and intellectual leaders who work on global initiatives. The program may be expanded in future years to provide funding for students to do independent research projects, along with academic programs.

“We believe that study abroad is integral to the intellectual development of students at Columbia and to the Columbia undergraduate experience,” adds Michael Pippenger, dean of undergraduate global programs. “By providing summer fellowship funds to students after their first year, the Presidential Global Fellowship aims to engage students in the global sphere at an early stage of their education, so they can explore the world and bring their experiences back to the classroom and to communities on campus throughout their remaining three years.”

The application process requires a statement demonstrating how being a Presidential Global Fellow will benefit fellow students and the greater Columbia community. Applicants will also be expected to discuss what issue surrounding globalization is most interesting to them and how their global studies will be guided by that interest.

“We want to provide every student who wants to do so the opportunity to study, work or do research abroad, and to offer opportunities for global experiences early in students’ undergraduate careers,” says Dean Valentini. “Early global experiences are brought back to campus and become part of students’ lives for the remainder of their time in the College. Global experiences also influence students’ interactions with each other, so the value of these early global experiences extends to the entire student body.”

The Office of Global Programs will be holding information sessions about the program on Friday, November 15 and Friday, November 22. Applications are due February 15, 2014. Finalists will be interviewed by a committee of faculty and selected by the President.

Please visit the Office of Global Programs website for more information.