What would you do with two years to study anything in the world?

The Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA) is accepting letters of interest for two-year independent writing fellowships abroad from exceptional candidates interested in foreign affairs or cultures.

We will appoint two new fellows in December 2019 to begin in 2020. Letters of interest are due by June 15, 2019. Selected candidates will be asked to submit full applications by August 30.

The fellowship

ICWA boosts US understanding of foreign affairs through an intensive two-year cultural-immersion program crafted over 90 years. The institute identifies and cultivates rare potential by immersing promising young professionals in the study of countries, regions and globally important issues, positioning them to become leaders in their fields who go on to inform the American public debate. The institute has helped transform the lives and advance the careers of emerging writers, scholars and diplomats, as well as experts in the fields of policy, business and social activism.

A prestigious ICWA fellowship provides recipients with the rare gift of time and freedom to explore regions and topics, expanding their knowledge at formative times in their lives, and sharing their self-directed, independent research through monthly newsletters and participation in institute events.


The institute weighs all proposals with no restrictions on topics or regions. However, 2019 applicants are especially encouraged to propose examining any of the following topics:

Threats to peace and security

Rights and lives of marginalized people and societies

Environment, climate change, sustainability and conservation

Culture and society (literature, art, film, etc.)

Post-conflict societies

The effects of technology and innovation on society

Youth and activism


And the following regions and countries:

South America (especially Venezuela and Brazil)



Eurasia (especially Russia, Ukraine, Central Asia)

Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Eritrea)



Candidates must be under 36 years of age at the time of the due date for the initial letter of interest.

Although the institute does not set minimum educational standards, applicants must have excellent written and spoken English-language skills and have completed the current phase of their formal education. We do not accept applications from currently enrolled undergraduate students.

We also expect candidates to have the necessary language skills to allow to them to carry out their proposed project in their country of choice.

U.S. citizenship is not a requirement, but candidates must show strong and credible ties to US society.

For more information and to apply, please visit https://www.icwa.org/apply/.