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NAFSA’s Global Dialogue Fellowship Program, launched in 2014, seeks to assist university leaders in several sub-Saharan African countries to help increase their institution’s international education capacity and bring their expertise to university leaders in the United States.

The program is designed to support academic leaders and faculty members in developing new and deeper international opportunities for students, scholars, faculty, and exchange visitors at their home institutions, and to create new channels of dialogue with academic leaders from around the world.

The 2020 NAFSA Global Dialogue Fellowship Program will provide support to ten African higher education professionals who are working to:

  • Provide greater access to international study and research for their institution;
  • Increase international competence among their students, faculty members, and administrators;
  • Strengthen institutional relationships with higher education institutions in other countries.

Meet the 2019 Global Dialogue Fellows

Features of the Program

The program pairs each Global Dialogue Fellow with a U.S.-based Global Dialogue Partner for ongoing conversation and provides support for each fellow to attend two consecutive NAFSA annual conferences in the United States. In turn, the fellows help representatives of potential partner institutions in other countries better understand African higher education and consider new partnerships in Africa.


Eligibility to apply for a Global Dialogue Fellowship is limited to:

  • Men and women in faculty or academic administration positions in higher education institutions in the countries listed below. To diversify the representation of African institutions and countries participating in the Global Dialogue Fellowship Program, priority will be given to applicants from institutions that have not been represented in the fellows’ pool in the past three years.
    • Cape Verde
    • Ethiopia
    • Kenya
    • Rwanda
    • Senegal
    • Sierra Leone
    • Uganda
    • Zambia
    • Zimbabwe
  • Individuals with advanced professional proficiency in English.
  • Individuals with a completed master’s or doctoral degree, and 3 or more years in teaching or academic leadership in an institution or institutions of higher education.
  • Individuals demonstrating evidence of previous efforts to increase university connections and partnerships with higher education institutions in other countries, or previous efforts to increase student or faculty exchanges with, or research collaborations with, higher education institutions in other countries.
  • Individuals with a concrete vision for increasing the capacity of their home institution to deepen connections with universities in other countries.
Program Benefits

The five individuals selected to participate in the Global Dialogue Fellowship Program will receive these benefits from NAFSA:

  • Complimentary registration to the NAFSA annual conferences in the United States, held in late May in 2019 and 2020, including access to the full week’s programs and access to the International Education Expo. In addition, at each of these conferences, the Global Dialogue Fellows will be invited to attend the Academic Leadership Reception and two of the following special programs:  
  • Travel costs for an economy-class roundtrip ticket (minus $500 each year) to attend the annual conferences in 2019 and 2020.
  • An allowance for meals during the annual conference week, library visit, and travel days.
  • Complimentary housing during the annual conference in 2019 and 2020.
  • Participation in a pre-conference workshop exclusively for Global Dialogue Fellows and Global Dialogue Partners on navigating the annual conference and building successful international programs and institutional partnerships.
  • Partnership with a volunteer Global Dialogue Partner from among the NAFSA membership who will maintain contact with their Global Dialogue Fellow throughout the two-year program and offer advice and information about programs and benefits available at the annual conference and about building international programs and institutional partnerships.
  • Periodic conference calls among the Global Dialogue Fellows and Global Dialogue Partners to discuss topics of importance.
  • Complimentary NAFSA membership for 2019 and 2020, with membership benefits including a digital subscription to the association’s International Educator magazine.
  • The choice of a NAFSA publication free of charge each of the two years, to build the Global Dialogue Fellows’ libraries on internationalization.
  • Assistance in planning conference presentations and panels.
Program Requirements

Each Global Dialogue Fellow selected is expected to fulfill these requirements. Failure to complete these requirements can result in early termination of the fellowship.

  • Participate fully in the NAFSA annual conferences in 2019 and 2020 and actively collaborate with the assigned Global Dialogue Partner.
  • Participate in a pre-conference group workshop with Global Dialogue Partners to share information about programs and challenges, and plan for a successful conference experience and year-round collaboration.
  • Following the 2019 and 2020 annual conferences, complete post-conference surveys.
  • At the 2020 annual conference, serve on a NAFSA annual conference panel to present his or her vision for change at their home institution and a progress report on the institution’s developments in international education programs and services.
  • In November 2019, Fellows are required to submit a 2-3 page paper outlining a personal action plan about international education/internationalization and partnership strategies with faculty members, administrators, and other stakeholders at the institution and in the home country of the Global Dialogue Fellow, as well as describe any achievements resulting from the Fellow’s participation in the program and at the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo.
  • In 2020, help plan the pre-conference workshop for the new cohort of Global Dialogue Fellows and Global Dialogue Partners.
  • At the end of 2020, submit a report on the two-year fellowship experience, using a format provided by NAFSA. 
  • Hold a passport valid until 2021 or later.
  • Secure an entry visa for the United States in 2019 and 2020.
  • Be in good health and be able to participate fully in Global Dialogue Fellowship Program activities.
  • Have reliable Internet and Skype access.
  • Be available to travel to the United States for the periods May 24-June 2, 2019 and May 23-30, 2020.
  • Secure funding for $500 each year to be used towards the economy-class air travel costs to the United States.
How to Apply

In order to be considered, applicants must complete an online application form and submit supporting materials by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, November 16, 2018. All materials must be submitted in English.

A complete application includes:

  • A completed online application form
  • A résumé or curriculum vitae sent via email to [email protected] or via fax to the Global Dialogue Fellowship Program at +1.202-737-3657.
  • A signed letter of support from an administrator at your institution with the position of dean or department chair or higher, sent via email to [email protected] or via fax to the Global Dialogue Fellowship Program at +1.202-737-3657. The letter should indicate the capability of the applicant to make practical and feasible recommendations regarding deepening the university’s international higher education relationships.