Fellowships FAQ

Use this resource to view Frequently Asked Questions about GLA Fellowships.



  1. What is a GLA Fellowship?

   The top of our Fellowships website pageis an excellent primer on what a Fellowship is.

  1. How much does becoming a GLA Fellow cost? Why does it cost money?

The Fellowship Fee to become a GLA Fellow is$500. The Fellowship cost includes a completely custom-developed curriculum and support from the Fellowship board with any questions or ideas before, during, and after a GLA Program. Just like a student paying a class fee or lab fee or paying for a textbook to complete an academic course, we have built a quality curriculum for our Fellowships and the cost reflects that quality and time investment of GLA specialists.

  1. Why are you calling it a Fellowship?

Fellowship is a term used by many universities, academic and creative institutions that offer more intensive curriculum and project-based initiatives for high-achieving students, so we felt the term applied to this new GLA offering.

  1. Does the Fellowship come with a scholarship or funding?

No. though being a GLA Fellow does not preclude any student from applying for and earning a regular GLA scholarship.

  1. What happens if I just want to go on a GLA program and not apply to be a Fellow?

While we feel there is real, substantial value in the curriculum we’ve developed and encourage any GLA student to apply to be a Fellow, this is 100% optional, and a student who doesn’t want to participate or pay the Fellowship Fee won’t lose out on any part of their regular GLA program experience by not participating.

  1. What happens once a student is accepted and becomes a GLA Fellow?
    They will need to pay the Fellowship Fee, in addition to their program tuition, and then they will be sent their specific Fellowship’s curriculum document so they can start working on their pre-departure assignments. The student cannot begin their Fellowship until they’ve paid in full.Accepted Fellows must complete their payment no later than 2 weeks before the start of their GLA program, in order to have enough time to complete the pre-departure Fellowship course material.

  2. Does a student have to be enrolled on a GLA program to participate in the Fellowship?

A student must be enrolled on a GLA program to become a Fellow. If a prospective student would like to apply for a Fellowship before enrolling on a GLA program, to see if they would be accepted, that is fine, but they will not be able to participate until they enroll. They must simply note that in their Fellowship application form instead of noting their program.

  1. What will a student get out of the Fellowship?
         From a learning standpoint, a student will get out what they put in. If they truly push themselves to try and learn before departing for their program and work as hard as they can on their final project, they can get an immense reward from the experience. In addition to the awards that a GLA Fellow will receive upon completion, the student will have a polished final project (essay, short film, etc.) that they can then use for college applications or resume builders.
         From a tangible standpoint, each GLA Fellow will receive a Certificate of Achievement, a Medal or Plaque, a Recommendation Letter from our Executive Director, and the ability to put GLA Fellow on their college applications or resume. Fellows in the Arts & Letters Fellowship will be actively entered into our GLA Photo, Video, or Creative Writing competition.


  1. Does a student need to read/watch all the options given in the Fellowship?
    The short answer is no. The Honors Fellowship and the Arts & Letters Fellowship pre-departure questions are slightly different:
          Honors- Each Honors Fellowship has aninfopacketand then other videos and material attached. All this information is optional to read and is to be used as a reference, but the questionnaire is geared towards the material we’ve linked in the document, so reading through and watching the material will definitely help!
          Arts & Letters- An Arts & Letters Fellow will have3 optionsto choose from. For example, the Creative Writing Fellowship has an option for Ernest Hemingway Fiction Short Stories, Nerdwriter Video Essays about Poetry, and a nonfiction novel titled The Geography of Bliss. This allows for the A&L Fellow to focus on what they are interested in. The material in the Arts & Letters Fellowship is more vital to read or watch. If you haven’t read the Ernest Hemingway short story, it will be very difficult to answer the questions intelligently.

  2. Will students need to buy books or films in order to complete the questionnaires?
    Some of the options will require outside material, such as a book or film, in order to complete the questionnaire, but each Fellowship has at least one option that does not require any outside purchasing of material. These options will either have an infopacket of preselected articles or links to youtube videos.

  3. What happens if a Fellow doesn’t complete their Pre-Departure Questionnaire before their program?
    The pre-departure assignments are designed to facilitate critical thinking and engaged thinking; they are not graded or reviewed for any purpose other than offering the student constructive feedback and guidance as they prepare for the next stage of their Fellowship. How much and how well you complete the pre-program coursework is up to each individual Fellow. As a reminder, there is no refund for students who sign up to be a Fellow and later decide to drop out or no longer participate.

  4. Who will a Fellow contact if they have questions about the Pre-Departure Material or Questionnaires?
    The best way to get questions answered is by emailingfellowships@experiencegla.combut if there are urgent or time-sensitive questions, feel free to call your assigned Travel Coordinator.


  • How much work will a student be doing while in country? Will it take away from the GLA experience?
    Each Fellowship will vary on what the student does in country. For instance, a Public Health Fellow might take notes for their post-program essay project, while a Videography Fellow might shoot footage throughout the program or take interviews of other students. The focus is on creativity but the Fellowship shouldn’t inhibit a student from having a GLA experience.

  • What happens if the Fellow’s work in country starts to interfere with the other students or staff members?
    The Fellowship is an addition to the GLA Experience and should not take precedence over the GLA Program. Staff have complete authority over the student in question and should not allow the Fellowship to interfere with the experience, even if that means the Fellow isn’t able to get that perfect shot with their camera or doesn’t have enough time to make a journal entry one night.

  • Who can a Fellow talk to if they have questions about their project while in country?
    Ideally, the on-program portion of the Fellowship is self-guided and should not require any active support from program staff or the Fellowship Committee.Because of limited access to calls or emails, the Fellowship curriculum was designed so they on-program portion could be completed entirely independently by the student.In a pinch, the best way to get questions answered is by emailingfellowships@experiencegla.combut because a student will have limited access to the internet, they can always ask their mentor or local director to send a question in for them.

  • What if a student wants to be an Arts & Letters Fellow for Photography or Videography but doesn’t have a camera?
    Part of the requirements of these fellowships is that a studentmust have their own camera and cannot use a phone. This is to maintain the integrity of our GLA Programs and not cause issues with cell phone policies. If an interested student does not have a camera and cannot acquire one prior to the start of their program, they can reach out tofellowships@experiencegla.comfor guidance.


  1. How much work will a student be putting into their final project?
    While each Fellowship has some variation, the final project is the most time intensive part of being a GLA Fellow. Whether the student is writing an essay about Public Health, a short story about their experience, or editing together a short film, the final project largely depends on the student’s creativity and how much time and effort they want to put into it. We do have specific guidelines for each final project that can be found on the Fellowship curriculum pages.

  2. What if a student from the Honors program doesn’t want to write an essay for their final project, or wants to alter the criteria for the final project in any Fellowship?
    We encourage creativity in our Fellows and will take any suggestions or ideas on a case by case basis. Please emailfellowships@experiencegla.comwith any final project proposals.

  3. What if a student doesn’t complete their project by the due date?
    Each student is responsible for their own work and final project. If a student needs an extension for a project wemaybe able to accommodate it, but we won’t hold hands and check up on students that haven’t turned in a project. Only students that complete every element of the Fellowship they’re a part of will receive the certificate of achievement, recommendation letter, etc. and be able to say they “completed” their GLA Fellowship.

  4. What if a student from the Arts & Letters Fellowship wants to enter in to the GLA Photo or Video Contest?
    They will be automatically entered into the competition! As soon as they submit their final project, their 3 best photos, final video, or creative writing piece/essay will be entered into a competition.


  • Are there any refunds?
    The Fellowship Fee is non-refundable. Once a student enrolls as a Fellow and the Fellowship Fee is paid, it cannot be returned. The student can drop the Fellowship prior to paying their Fellowship Fee only. Once the fee is paid, it cannot be refunded, even if the student doesn’t start the Fellowship coursework, drops out at any point before, during, or after their GLA program, or doesn’t complete their final project.

  • What happens if a Fellow has paid, but doesn’t complete their final project or their final project doesn’t meet basic requirements to satisfy their Fellowship curriculum?
    The Fellowship is student-driven experience and a leadership learning program. It is up to the student to live up to deadlines and the work required. If a student makes a good faith effort to complete the final project by the deadline and submit quality work, they will receive all of their promised Fellowship Awards. If they miss the deadline or do not complete their project up to a satisfactory standard, they will be ineligible to receive said awards, as determined by the Fellowship Committee.