In addition to the application procedures outlined, here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
What is the Davis International Fellows Program?
The Davis International Fellows Program is designed to help students undertake educationally meaningful overseas experiences that link to academic or career interests. The program is a reflection of Wheaton’s commitment to global awareness for all students.
Students are invited to submit proposals for unpaid international non-credit internships, service/volunteer experiences or structured independent research based on their interests and background. They can design and initiate their own assignments and contacts, either independently or through established organizations. Students also may seek suggestions and guidance from faculty and staff.
Proposals must identify a specific organization, describing the goals and the nature of the activities in which the student will be engaged. The student must also identify an individual who will serve as the overseas sponsor and site supervisor. Students may apply for structured independent research directly in support of their academic majors, senior or honors theses, etc. All proposals for structured independent research require a letter of support from a Wheaton faculty member.
For summer 2016, up to 10 awards will be given. Summer 2016 Davis International Fellows recipients will receive a $5,000 stipend to support overseas experiences of approximately 4-8 weeks in length during the summer break. The award may be used to cover travel and living expenses as well as any preparatory costs, such as immunizations and passport and visa fees. Selected students will also be required to purchase overseas health insurance, which is available at a low cost and processed through the Center for Global Education.
Who is eligible to apply for a Davis International Fellowship?
Sophomores and juniors who have not previously won a Davis International Fellowship; sophomores and juniors in good academic and social standing at time of application (students with changes to their academic or social standing during the selection process may be disqualified from the competition); sophomores and juniors with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0; international students who have lived in a country for more than ten years may not return to that country; sophomores or juniors currently enrolled on-campus or in a Wheaton approved off-campus program, and who must be returning to Wheaton for the next semester, or immediately following the completion of the Wheaton approved off-campus program. Students who are selected as Davis Fellows and who are also Balfour, Community, Regional and Trustee Scholars will receive an award equal to the Davis Fellow stipend minus the unused portion of their Balfour, Community, Regional and Trustee Scholar stipend. Program is merit based, not need-based.
What kinds of experiences qualify for a Davis International Fellow?
Non-credit bearing and unpaid international internships or volunteer experiences and structured independent research.
What kinds of experiences do not qualify for a Davis International Fellow?
Credit-bearing study abroad or internship programs; recreational or cultural tourism unless explicitly linked to scholarly or professional development as presented in the proposal; paid experiences; travel /internships/ research/community service in countries on the U.S. State Department’s Travel Warning List.
What may Davis International Fellow awards be used for?
Support research at overseas libraries, archives, research centers or with experts/facilities not found in the United States; work as a research assistant to an overseas faculty member OR with a Wheaton professor on a project of mutual interest; support portfolio and/or professional development and training in the visual or performing arts; underwrite participation in archeological digs, biological or ecological field research, history/art restoration projects, etc.
Who selects the Davis International Fellows?
All application materials will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Wheaton faculty and staff, who possess backgrounds in experiential learning.
What suggested steps should I take when applying for a Davis International Fellow?
Step 1: Explore Summer Opportunities Early
Use a range of resources to explore potential sites for your out-of-class learning experience. Use your winter break as a time to research and contact sites. Resources include: Filene Center for Academic Advising & Career Services staff, online research, Faculty Advisors, contacts through family, friends, former employers, teachers, etc., former Davis International Fellow recipients.
Step 2: Apply/Secure your Site
Apply to potential opportunities by developing a cover letter and resume to send to supervisors as soon as possible. Explain the time frame of your availability and your eagerness to learn and contribute. Be sure to include any other supplemental application materials required by the organization.
NOTE: Please be aware that experiences in countries included on the U.S. State Department’s list of alerts are not eligible for Davis International Fellows funding. Please refer to the U.S. Department website for travel warning information.
Step 3: Confirm your Site
Once you have confirmed your site, complete the Wheaton College Summer Fellowship Application. Discuss your ideas and proposal drafts with staff members of the Filene Center for Academic Advising & Career Services, other advising centers, writing tutors, and faculty.
Is the Davis International Fellows application process competitive?
Yes, but up to 10 Davis International Fellows are selected. You should invest significant time in writing the best proposal possible.
I won a Davis International Fellow previously. Can I apply again?
No. Students who have previously won a Davis International Fellows award cannot apply again.
I didn’t win a Davis International Fellow last year. Can I apply again?
Yes. If you applied previously and didn’t receive a Davis International Fellows award, you are welcome to apply again for the same or a different experience. We encourage you to utilize resources such as The Filene Center for Academic Advising & Career Services Advisors, Faculty Advisors, Peer Mentors, and College Writing Tutors to receive feedback on your proposal.
Can I apply for both the Wheaton and Davis International Fellows?
Yes. Separate committees determine the Wheaton Fellow and the Davis International Fellow recipients. You can apply for both, though you will need to write two separate proposals. In the event that you are awarded both Fellows, you will have to choose only ONE award to accept.
If selected, what are my responsibilities/obligations as a Davis International Fellow?
Required attendance at a pre-departure meeting before you leave for the summer; complete all of the necessary payroll paperwork (by the end of April) in order to receive payment in the first week of June. Students are required to cover their expenses before receiving the stipend and should plan accordingly. The stipend MAY BE considered taxable income (you will receive a document outlining tax information at your pre-departure meeting). You will need to purchase overseas health insurance through the Center for Global Education. You will need to submit a 1-2 page reflection essay on the experience at the end of August to Matthew Wheeler, Assistant Director of Career Services and present a poster/presentation at the annual Internship Showcase, which is held in November.