Frequently Asked Questions for the Professional Fellows Program

Here at HANDS we get lots of questions regarding the application process for the Professional Fellows Program. Below are answers to some of our most common questions. Please note, these answers are specific for the current exchange program.

To get an overview of the program and hear about the experiences from previous participants in Professional Follows exchanges, you can watch the following overview video by clicking here: Professional Fellows Program Video

To see some of the experiences of HANDS fellows who participated in the program in spring of 2016, their video project is a candid look at the program on both the professional and cultural levels:

What is the Professional Fellows Program for NGO Development?

The Professional Fellows Program for NGO Development is an exchange program for young professionals who work in NGOs in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. The current exchange is open to candidates who work in NGOs that improve the status of women.  During the exchange, Professional Fellows will be placed with NGOs in the US in order to learn new skills and make new professional connections.  The Professional Fellows Program is funded by the US State Department.

How long is the Professional Fellows Program?
The program is 5 weeks long in total. Four weeks will be spent with your host organization, and the final week will be spent at the Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, DC.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for this program?
You are eligible to apply for the Professional Fellows Program if the following things are all true:

  • You are a citizen of Egypt, Morocco, or Tunisia (without dual citizenship elsewhere)
  • You have completed your university degree
  • You work in an NGO that is improving the status of women in your country
  • You are between 25 and 40 years old
  • You have not previously participated in a US Government funded exchange program

What materials do I need to submit?
In order to have a complete application, you must submit the following materials:

  • Completed application form (with no unanswered questions)
  • A detailed resume/CV
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A scanned copy of your passport (if you have one)

What if I don’t have a valid passport?
You can still apply! If you do not have a passport and are selected to participate in this program.

Can I submit letters of recommendation separately from the rest of my application?
Yes. As long as we receive all your application materials prior to the application deadline, it’s fine if we get the recommendation letters separately.

How does the application process work?
Interested applicants must submit all written application materials by the deadline. Finalists will be contacted by email to schedule interviews either in person or via Skype.

Why do all the application materials need to be in English?
Because the Professional Fellows Program involves a professional placement within an NGO in the United States, it is very important that all accepted fellows are able to speak with their colleagues both formally at meetings and informally around the office. It is also important that fellows be able to read and understand reports and emails in English. For this reason, all application materials must be in English to demonstrate your ability to function in an English-speaking environment.

Can I bring my spouse/parent/child/friend?
No. Professional Fellows are not permitted to bring relatives or friends on the program with them.  The only exception would be in the case of Professional Fellows with disabilities, who may bring an assistant if needed.

Do you have questions not covered here? Get in touch and let us know!

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