FAQs for US Applicants


Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows: Dženana Preljević, Lorenz Narku Laing, Aseem Mehta.

The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the Humanity in Action Fellowship programs for those applying through the United States. Please read through the information outlined here prior to beginning your application for the Fellowship. This list is organized by questions related to the application process, eligibility for the Fellowship and the program itself. 

Application • Eligibility • Program • Financial

>> Application Questions

How do I apply for the 2019 Humanity in Action Fellowship?
All applications must be submitted through our website, apply.humanityinaction.org by January 6, 2019 at 11:59pm PST

When will I be notified about the results of my application?
Humanity in Action will contact 2019 applicants by February 13, 2019 to let them know whether they have been selected as a finalist. All finalists will then be interviewed by the Humanity in Action Selection Committee before March 15. The Selection Committee will announce decisions by email before mid-April.

Can I apply for a specific program?
No. If you are selected to participate in the Humanity in Action Fellowship, the Humanity in Action staff will designate your program country. While we welcome your requested preferences for program placement, we cannot guarantee that you will be placed in the program of your choice.

How is my application reviewed?
The selection process involves two phases. During the first phase, a panel of Humanity in Action staff, Board members and Senior Fellows reads all of the applications and selects a pool of finalists for further review by Humanity in Action's Selection Committee. During the second phase, the Selection Committee reads and evaluates all finalist applications and conducts group interviews with finalists. All finalists will be interviewed by a small panel of the Selection Committee together with two or three other finalists. The final selections are made based on this second reading and the interview.

My references say they never received a request for a letter of recommendation in their inbox, but the system told me the request was made. What gives?
Please make sure that your reference has checked his/her spam or junk mailboxes. Once you have done this, log back into your application and click the link next to the reference list to re-send the request. If your reference's email service allows for email addresses to be added to a "white list," please have them add admissions@humanityinaction.org.

Do I need to upload an official transcript?
No. You should upload an unofficial copy of your transcript into the online application system. Then, if you are accepted into the program, you will be required to have your registrar send a copy in the mail for verification. Any evidence of tampering with the digital transcripts will result in immediate disqualification.

I am having trouble uploading my CV and/or unofficial transcript. What should I do?
If you are having trouble uploading your files, please try using Google Chrome as your web browser.If you are still having trouble, please contact admissions@humanityinaction.org. Documents that are received via email will not be accepted and the application will not be considered complete.

Can I send my application by regular mail?
No. All applications must be submitted online in order to be considered eligible.

Who should write my letters of recommendation?
References should be people who know your work and character extensively, and are able to speak honestly and effectively about your interests and abilities as they relate to the program goals. At least one letter must be from a college/university teacher or advisor.

Should I submit more than two references or include supplementary materials with my application?
No. Humanity in Action will discard any materials that are not explicitly requested.

How do I submit my application and pay the application fee?
Once all sections of your application is complete, you should see a link on the left side of your screen that says "Pay & Submit Application." Please note, you should submit your application and pay the fee even if your letters of recommendation have not been submitted. We will give your references a three-day grace period after the deadline to complete their recommendations (as long as you have submitted your recommendation requests by the January 6 deadline).

One of my references is abroad and does not have Internet access. Is it possible for her to submit a reference letter via regular mail?
In extenuating circumstances, Humanity in Action does accept application materials via regular mail. If you cannot submit materials through our online application, please contact us at admissions@humanityinaction.org for further instructions.

I will be studying abroad next semester. If I am selected as a finalist, can Humanity in Action arrange a telephone interview?
All of our interviews are held through an online video conference tool. Stable access to internet will be required to participate in the group interviews, but you do not need to be in the US for an interview or access to the video interview.

The application system cannot verify my PDF. What do I do?
A common reason why PDFs, especially college transcripts, will fail verification is that they are password-protected. One work-around to this problem is to open the PDF and use your computer's print-to-PDF function to create a new copy, which will not carry the password protection. 

>> Eligibility Questions

Do I need to know a foreign language in order to participate?
No. All Humanity in Action Fellowship Programs are conducted in English.

Is there a GPA requirement?
No. An applicant's GPA is just one of many criteria that our committee evaluates during the selection process. Although Humanity in Action values applicants who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, we do not require that they clear a specific GPA threshold.

My college graduation date and/or exams occur during the program. Can I participate?
No. Fellows are required to be present and to participate in all days of the Humanity in Action Fellowship. Fellows may not arrive late, leave early or miss program dates for obligations outside of the Humanity in Action Fellowship.

I am currently a freshman, but I will be a rising sophomore at the time of the Humanity in Action Fellowship. Am I eligible to apply?
No. In order to be eligible to apply, students must have sophomore standing at the time of the application deadline.

I am currently a freshman, but I have sophomore standing due to my AP credits. Am I eligible to apply?
No. We require that applicants be in at least their second year of college when they apply.

I am a graduate student. Am I eligible to apply?
Currently enrolled graduate students and PhD students are eligible to apply.

I am a US student currently enrolled in a foreign university. Am I eligible to apply to the Humanity in Action Fellowship?
If you are a US citizen studying at a foreign university, you are eligible to apply to the Humanity in Action Fellowship through the U.S. office. If you are a US student studying at a university in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands or Poland, you may be eligible to apply through Humanity in Action offices in those countries. Please contact those offices directly to confirm your eligibility.

I am not a United States citizen, but I currently study at a college or university in the United States. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. All sophomores, juniors, seniors and recent graduates (undergraduate class of May 2017 and later) from US colleges or universities are eligible to apply, regardless of citizenship.

I am a graduate student studying at a US-based university, but I am a foreign student and completed my graduate studies at a foreign university. Am I eligible to apply?
Yes. Foreign graduate students at US-based universities are eligible to apply.

If I need a visa to participate in the Fellowship program, will Humanity in Action help me to obtain it?
Humanity in Action will help Fellows obtain any visas necessary for participation in the programs. However, it is the full responsibility of Fellows to obtain the visa on their own. Fellows must initiate the process, request supporting documentation from Humanity in Action in a timely fashion and follow through to make sure they receive their visa on time. If you require a visa for your Fellowship, you must begin the process as soon as you are placed in your program country. Humanity in Action will not be responsible for obtaining your visa for you.

I applied to the Humanity in Action Fellowship last year but was not selected. Can you provide any feedback on my previous application?
Due to the nature of our selection process, we do not provide any feedback on previous applications.

>> Program Questions

What are the program dates for the 2019 Fellowship?
For Fellows applying through the US office, the 2018 Humanity in Action European Fellowship programs will begin on June 8, 2019. It will end in Europe on July 8. Fellows will depart for their program city on June 7, 2019. The John Lewis Fellowship program in Atlanta, Georgia will take place from July 1 - 31, 2019.

What is included in the Fellowship?

  • Participation in four-week program (including accommodation and majority of the meals during the events);
  • Ongoing skill-building and training opportunities;
  • Guidance in developing and executing an individual Action Project;
  • Upon completion of the Fellowship, participation in a global network of leaders poised to contribute to civic society and exposure to opportunities provided by other Humanity in Action programming, such as professional fellowships, grant competitions, study trips, international conferences, leadership roles and speaking engagements.

Where do Fellows live during the program?
Fellows in the Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and Sarajevo programs stay with host families. The "home stay" is often an important and valuable part of the Humanity in Action learning experience. All Fellows in the Warsaw program live together at a hostel downtown. 

Fellows in the Atlanta program will stay in university dormitories at Georgia State University. 

What is the time commitment during the Program?
Humanity in Action Fellowship programs are intense and rigorous. The program days usually start at 9AM and run until 6PM and occasional evening programming. Additionally, some of the weekends have structured programming. Active and engaged participation is key to creating a meaningful Fellowship experience and therefore, we advise that the Fellows do not commit to other activities during the program. In the 11 months after the program, Fellows who wish to become Senior Fellows must complete an Action Project, the time dedications of which will vary from Fellow to Fellow and project to project, but are an important part of the Humanity in Action experience and commitment.

>> Financial Questions

What costs does Humanity in Action cover during the program?
Humanity in Action covers the costs of participation and accommodation during the Fellowship programs. Humanity in Action does not discriminate based on financial need and will assist Fellows in meeting financial demands of potential international travel to the program.

Fellows are encouraged to bring additional spending money with then to the Fellowship program to cover off-program expenses such as food and social acitivies outside of Fellowship programming and on weekends. Additional stipends may be granted on a financial need basis. Humanity in Action recommends the following amounts for each program location for additional spending money:

  • Amsterdam Fellowship program: 500 Euro (for food and social activities)
  • Berlin Fellowship program: 250 Euro (for food) and 200 Euro (for social activities)
  • Copenhagen Fellowship program: 500 Euro (for food and social activities)
  • John Lewis Fellowship program in Atlanta: 250 USD (for social activities)
  • Sarajevo Fellowship program: 300 Euro (for food and social activities)
  • Warsaw Fellowship program: 350 - 400 Euro (for food and social activities)

Does Humanity in Action provide travel stipends?
All Fellows will be responsible for financing the cost of roundtrip airfare from their location to their program city. However, Humanity in Action offers some travel stipends granted on a financial need basis. Instructions for requesting a travel stipend will be shared with Fellows after they have accepted their Fellowship. Fellows will also be expected to look for financial support from other institutions, such as their universities, when requesting a travel stipend.

What else does Humanity in Action provide?
Depending on the Fellowship program location, Humanity in Action provides a single meal per full day of programming or time and spending money for meals during the program. Fellows with financial need participating in some programs are eligible for additional stipends for food and cost of living, for which instructions to request these will be shared after the Fellow has accepted their Fellowship.

Can I get my application fee waived?
Humanity in Action will waive the application fee for applicants with financial need. To inquire about a fee waiver, please contact admissions@humanityinaction.org.

>> Further Questions

If you have any questions that are not covered here, please email admissions@humanityinaction.org.