Every year, almost 200 mid-career professionals come into the United States to have a professional and academic experience. It is also an avenue for understanding the culture and values of the American people.
All of these happen under the platform of the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship but not without going through different stages and slugging it out with thousands of applicants from across the globe.
It is indeed a life time opportunity where you get acquainted with how top players in your industry operate, get to join some of them through Professional Affiliation plus getting skills on how to handle leadership roles, the core of the program itself.
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To be eligible to apply for The Hubert Humphrey fellowship, you must:
- Have an undergraduate degree
- Have no prior or limited US experience
- Have a minimum of five-year full time, professional career
- Have a record of public service in your community
- Have demonstrated leadership qualities and
- Have English language ability
There are four major cardinal areas you can apply into while figuring where you fit it, in the sub divisions. They are: Sustainable development, Democratic Institution building, Education and Public Health.
Countries and regions eligible to apply are not limited to Sub- Saharan Africa, Europe and Eurasia, Middle East and North Africa others are, East Asia and Pacific, South and Central Asia and the Western Hemisphere.
Applying for the fellowship itself is not really a daunting task, however you must be clear, defined and strategic with your goals. There have been records of people who got accepted at their first attempts, like yours truly and there were others who had to try more than once. The key word here is; don’t be discouraged no matter what, keep your eye on the ball!
The application process is in stages and it begins with the sorting and national screening of applications, if you get selected, you’ll be invited for the next stage which is an interview. The interviewees may consist of about 8 to 10 men and women, at least from my experience. Remember the content and your professional goal in your application and answer the questions coming one after the other with conviction and purpose. There’s no need to fret, so long you present and express some professional and leadership abilities, you might just ace it.
The next stage after the interview when you get selected is an exam for the Test Of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL. This is another very important requirement. My advice for anyone who gets to this stage is to stay calm during the test and fast enough to finish on time. Read questions carefully and listen attentively to get the questions and answers right. But not to worry, if you get selected and still don’t make the TOEFL, there’s an opportunity to come into the US earlier for the Pre- academic program for English classes.
All of these stages and more are screened and coordinated by a group of experts from different walks of life. Finally, the State Department will announce the final selection after receiving approval from the Foreign Scholarship Board, FSB. Depending on the various field of studies, about 200 participants would be placed in US Universities, usually between 16 & 18 institutions selected to host Humphrey fellows.
I assure you, being a Humphrey fellow myself (2016/2017 team), it is a worthwhile experience that would come to play for many years to come. The academic and professional enrichment is second to none, as you get to exchange ideas with professionals and upcoming ones in the society.
The Humphrey seminar is held weekly in all of the campuses where global leadership skills are discussed and analyzed to have global perspective on issues.
The Global Leadership forum is also another important aspect of the fellowship where all fellows gather in Washington DC for a four-day seminar where sessions are held on global issues, regions get together to fashion out solutions to common challenges and generally make professional contacts and most times friends for life from different parts of the world.
The Hubert Humphrey fellowship was established by former president Jimmy Carter in 1978, to honor the exemplary leadership skills, devotion to public service and insightful governance of the former Vice-President, Hubert Horatio Humphrey.
I leave you with this Hubert Humphrey quote, that will help make the world a better place.
The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love. The world would be healed of all its challenges and vices, when we build better friendship and love.
Application link opened in Nigeria on the 1st of April http://apply.embark.com/student/humphrey/fellowship/ .
It closes, June 1 in Nigeria, so hurry up and take up the opportunity other countries are also eligible to apply for the Hubert Humphrey fellowship.