The doors have swung open for the much-anticipated Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University for the academic year 2024-2025. This unique initiative presents an unparalleled opportunity for emerging leaders, both from the United States and internationally, who are ardent about devising innovative solutions to the multifaceted challenges facing their communities and nations.
Program Overview: A Confluence of Knowledge, Skills, and Networking
Hosted at the renowned Columbia World Projects campus, scholars will benefit from a fully-funded 9-month residency, refining their understanding, enhancing skills, and broadening their professional networks to escalate the magnitude of their contributions.
This immersive journey is a synergistic blend of academic rigour, pragmatic skills training, and real-world exposure. The curriculum, meticulously structured by Columbia University in collaboration with the Obama Foundation, comprises:
Key Program Highlights:
- Weekly Seminars spanning the entire academic year, navigating pivotal global trends such as inequality, technological evolution, power dynamics, demographic shifts, and the ever-looming challenge of climate change.
- Personal and Professional Workshops focusing on bolstering leadership abilities. Past themes have encompassed conflict resolution, public oratory, data interpretation, and fostering resilience.
- Experiential Learning anchored in the pioneering work undertaken by Columbia World Projects.
- Audited Coursework: Flexibility remains paramount, with scholars having the liberty to enrol in up to two graduate-level courses each semester at Columbia.
- Thought Leadership Speaker Series: An avenue for scholars to rub shoulders with stalwarts from diverse sectors – NGOs, philanthropy, governance, and global organisations, thereby enriching their perspectives.
- Faculty Partnership: An alliance with a dedicated Columbia faculty expert, poised to offer invaluable insights to further the scholars’ objectives.
- Campus Engagement: Scholars are encouraged to immerse themselves in Columbia University’s vibrant intellectual milieu, gaining diverse vantage points.
The scholars’ experience is not just limited to intellectual growth. The program offers:
- A monthly stipend to facilitate a comfortable stay in New York City.
- A fully-furnished studio apartment, a stone’s throw away from Columbia University.
- Comprehensive coverage of tuition and fees for up to four Columbia courses.
- Essential medical, dental, and life insurance throughout the New York City stint.
- Airfare for international travel linked to the program.
Eligibility: Are You the Chosen One?
The hunt is on for trailblazing leaders who:
- Stand at a pivotal juncture in their careers, having already made significant inroads in their domains.
- Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to their communities, underpinned by an intent to apply their enriched competencies post-program completion.
- Boast fluency in English across all facets – reading, writing, and speaking.
- Possess the vision and drive to sculpt the destiny of their communities.
- Uphold values of inclusivity, hope, courage, imagination, strategy, accountability, and resilience.
Note: A special preference will be accorded to aspirants who haven’t pursued any academic program at Columbia University earlier. This full-time, on-campus fellowship cannot be dovetailed with any other degree program.
Embarking on the Journey: Application Process
The online application portal is now live, seeking the following:
- Detailed application form
- Updated CV
- Personal video statement
- Essays responding to specific prompts
- Evidence of English proficiency
- A pair of recommendation letters
Deadline: December 12, 2023.
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