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Frequently Asked Questions


Eligibility Requirements

Can I apply to become a Fellow?
Why 2-10 years of experience?
I’ve mostly done volunteer work and/or internships. Can I still apply if I do not have two years of full-time work experience?
I’m older than 35 years old. Can I still apply?
I am a U.S. citizen or green-card holder (Legal Permanent Resident); can I apply?
What do you mean when you say a bachelor’s degree is required? I don’t have a bachelor’s degree; can I still apply?
I have a medical condition; should I still apply?

Application/Selection Process

When is the deadline?
How does the application process work?
How does the placement process with Host Organizations work?
Can I request a specific Host Organization?
Can I contact potential Host Organizations?
Do Finalists need to reapply?
I was not a Finalist - Can I apply again?
How do I update my application?
What documents do I need for my application?
My recommender never received a recommendation request. What should I do?
My recommender is having problems uploading the recommendation. What should I do?
My recommender is not fluent in English. Can I send you a recommendation in a different language?

Fellow Experience

When does the program begin?
When does the program end?
What does the Fellowship provide?
What is the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab?
How do you determine the living stipend?
What does the stipend cover?
What kind of visa do I get?
What kinds of issues or projects do Fellows work on?
Can I bring my family with me?
After the Fellowship, do I have to return to my home country?


For any questions not answered here, please email apply[at]atlascorps[dot]org with questions about the U.S. Fellowship, and email applybogota[at]atlascorps[dot]org with questions about our Latin America Fellowship.

Eligibility Requirements

Can I apply to become a Fellow? What are the eligibility requirements?

You can apply to become a Fellow if you meet the following minimum requirements:
  • 2 or more years of relevant experience in the nonprofit/NGO/social sector
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • English proficiency (oral, writing, reading)
  • Spanish proficiency (for the Latin American Fellowship only)
  • Age 35 or younger when the Fellowship begins
  • Applying to volunteer in a country other than where you are from (Americans cannot apply to our U.S. Fellowship, Colombians cannot apply to our Colombia Fellowship)
  • Commitment to return to your home country after the 6-18 month fellowship.

Go Up Why 2-10 years of experience?

Atlas Corps is dedicated to providing rising nonprofit leaders with opportunities to obtain additional skills those leaders will require to have an even greater impact. Atlas Corps does not want to take highly experienced senior-level directors away from the important work they are doing and does not want to recruit students to participate in this program since they may not have enough relevant experience to share with organizations.

Go Up I’ve mostly done volunteer work and/or internships. Can I still apply if I do not have two years of full-time work experience?

Our average Fellow is 28 years old and has 2-10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Although we have admitted Fellows as young as 22 years of age before, these individuals demonstrated extraordinary dedication to nonprofit work through various volunteer and service opportunities. If you have had similar experiences, we encourage you to apply. Otherwise, the Fellowship is designed to be of greatest benefit to those with at least two years of work experience. If you choose not to apply for this round of applications, we do hope you will consider doing so in the near future.

Go Up I’m older than 35 years old. Can I still apply?

Applicants must be age 35 or younger at the beginning of the Fellowship (Fellows can turn 36 during the Fellowship). Our general age range has been from 23-35 with an average age of 29 years old and our research and experience indicates that the Fellowship is best suited for young, rising, skilled professionals as opposed to more experienced professionals. The reason for this is that our host organization placements are more appropriate for someone with some experience, but generally not 12+ years of experience. In addition, by having a maximum age limit of 35 we are able to tailor our training program to a more specific age group and skill set. The compensation, the network and the training are all geared more towards individuals who are approximately 23-35 years old, not older than 35.

Go Up I am a U.S. citizen or green-card holder (Legal Permanent Resident); can I apply?
U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents are NOT eligible for the U.S. Fellowship. They may apply for our Latin America Fellowship; please view the requirements here.

Go Up What do you mean when you say a Bachelor’s degree is required? I don’t have a bachelor’s degree; can I still apply?
We require all our Fellows to have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent. We say "equivalent" because education systems vary between different countries and the degree may be called different names. In the U.S., a Bachelor's degree is a diploma awarded for successful completion of 4 years of higher education (post-secondary school). In many countries, the equivalent degree is higher education of 3-5 years, depending on the educational system. At any rate, applicants must have a higher educational degree beyond the compulsory secondary school education.

Go Up I have a medical condition; should I still apply?
Yes, please apply to be considered for the fellowship. We would like to advise you that the health insurance for Atlas Corps does not cover pre-existing conditions, and you will be responsible for any costs related to treatment of those conditions, including doctor visits and prescriptions.

Application/Selection Process

Go Up When is the deadline?
Apply to U.S.: Atlas Corps considers applications on a rolling basis for our classes that begin in January, May, and September. We encourage you to apply by July 15 to be considered for the January class, apply by November 8 to be considered for our May class, and apply by March 22 to be considered for our September class. Applications are accepted year-round, but earlier applications tend to be more successful. When you apply, you should indicate for which class(es) you are applying. Apply to Latin America: Atlas Corps considers applications on a rolling basis. Please view our application calendar here. Applications are accepted year-round, but earlier applications tend to be more successful.

Go Up How does the application process work?
Applying to Atlas Corps is a three-step process:
1. Online Application and Recommendation Letters: Fill out the application below. We will not accept applications via email or mail. You will need to create a login and you can save your responses so you can return to the application at any time before you submit it. The application consists of background information, education and employment history, and essays. You must also submit two letters of recommendation. Please do NOT use special characters or accents anywhere in your application.

2. Written English Test: Strong applicants will be invited to take a timed, written English test. If you are selected to take the English test, you will be given no more than seven days to complete it. If you do not take the English test within your allotted seven-day time frame, your application might not be considered for the next Fellowship class. However, you may still have an opportunity to take the English test at a later date and be considered for the next application cycle.

3. Preliminary Interview: A select number of strong applicants who pass the English test will be invited to do a 30-minute video Skype interview with a member of our Selection Board. If you are invited for an interview, you must schedule your interview within seven days of receiving the interview request. If you miss your scheduled interview, your application might not be considered for the next Fellowship class. Not all applicants are selected for an English test or an interview.

Upon successful completion of all three steps, you may be named an Atlas Corps Finalist. Your application is then eligible to be matched with potential Host Organizations for interviews. Atlas Corps staff will notify you via email if you achieve that status. After interviewing with a Host Organization, the Host Organization and Atlas Corps can decide which Finalist, if any, they would like to offer a Fellowship.

Go Up How does the placement process with Host Organizations work?
Applicants apply not to a specific Host Organization, but rather the opportunity to be placed at one of our partner organizations. We will match our top Finalists to placements at potential Host Organizations, taking into account the applicant's skills and abilities and the Host Organization's needs.

Go Up Can I request a specific Host Organization?
Applicants may indicate in their application or interview which organizations most interest them. However, we cannot guarantee placement at any particular organization, and in many cases, those organizations may be looking for a very specific candidate profile.

Go Up Can I contact potential Host Organizations?
Candidates should NOT contact potential or current Host Organizations unless they have been contacted by the Host Organization first. Atlas Corps is best able to explain the benefits and responsibilities of hosting a Fellow to potential Host Organizations. Contacting Host Organizations directly will jeopardize your candidacy for the Fellowship. If you already do work with an organization based in the U.S. and would like us to send a U.S.-based staff member information on hosting a Fellow, please send us their contact information (at apply@atlascorps.org); do NOT contact them yourself about hosting you.

Go Up Do Finalists need to reapply?
If you applied within the last year and were designated as a Finalist, then in most cases, you do not need to reapply, and you should have received instructions about a “Finalist agreement” to confirm your interest in being considered again for the next application cycle. If you are interested in updating your application, please visit this page to log in and update your application: https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/USFellowship. If you have forgotten your password you used before, go to the application system and click "Forgot Password." In some cases, we may ask Finalists who applied over a year ago to reapply in order to have an updated status on their career. If you have any questions about your specific case, please email apply@atlascorps.org.

Go Up I was not a Finalist - can I apply again?
If you applied in a previous application cycle and were NOT designated as a Finalist, you may reapply but you should only apply once a year. We recommend, however, that you to take your time and fill out the application completely, with detailed and thorough answers. You will need to start a new application. Please review the eligibility requirements on this page: http://atlascorps.org/apply-to-united-states.php to make sure that you still qualify.

Go Up How do I update my application?
If you are interested in updating your application, please visit this page to log in and update your application: https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/USFellowship. If you have an update to your contact information (either your email address, phone number, or Skype ID), please email us at apply@atlascorps.org.

Go Up What documents do I need for my application?
In terms of documents, you will only need two recommendation letters. Test scores, resumes, or certificates from past trainings are not required. If you have taken the TOEFL or IELTS tests, you may attach those scores, but they are not required. You will also need to have a valid passport, but you do not need to attach it to your application. If you would like to attach a brief (2 pages or less) and professional writing sample, that is acceptable but not required.

Go Up My recommender never received a recommendation request. What should I do?
Recommenders should look for an email from recommendations@wizehive.com with the subject line "Recommendation Request for Atlas Corps Fellowship." This is not an email address we monitor so replies should not be directed to this account. If your recommenders are having trouble locating a request, please tell them to check their Spam/Trash folders, as the request sometimes gets routed there. If they still cannot find it, log in to your Wizehive account for U.S. Fellows or Latin American Fellows. Click "Add or Edit Recommendation Requests." If you have already entered your recommenders' contact information, click "Resend Request." If you have not already entered their contact information, follow the instructions on the page to enter it. If you follow all these steps and they have still not received the recommendation request, you can download this recommendation form and email it to them. Once it is complete, they may email the recommendation as an attachment titled "Recommendation for [Applicant's Name]" to apply@atlascorps.org and we will attach it to the application for you. Please email the recommendation only as a last resort.

Go Up My recommender is having trouble uploading my recommendation. What should I do?
If your recommender is having problems uploading the recommendation, please try uploading it again. Often, a recommender may think it has not uploaded successfully, when in fact they have uploaded it multiple times. If you still encounter problems, please email the recommendation as an attachment titled "Recommendation for [Applicant's Name]" to apply@atlascorps.org and we will attach it to the application for you. Please email the recommendation only as a last resort.

Go Up My recommender is not fluent in English. Can I send you a recommendation in a different language?
Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to translate letters of recommendation. Letters in English are required.

Fellow Experience

Go Up When does the program begin?
The U.S. Fellowship begins in January, May, and September. Each Fellowship begins with a one-week orientation program and a one-week Global Leadership Lab immersion, followed by 49 weeks at your Host Organization. In some cases, Fellows may do a six-month Fellowship, which would only have 23 weeks at the Host Organization. Fellowships may be extended by their Host Organization for up to six months.

Go Up When does the program end?
Most Fellowships end 12 months after they begin. In some cases, the Fellowship may end 6 months after it begins (for particular programs like our Think Tank LINKS Fellowship) or 18 months after it begins (if the Fellowship is extended by an agreement between the Fellow and the Host Organization). Fellows must return to their home countries immediately after the program ends.

Go Up What does the Fellowship provide?
Fellows - but not their dependents - receive:
  • Program-related international travel (U.S. Fellows only)
  • Program-related domestic travel
  • Basic health insurance
  • Monthly stipend for basic living expenses (housing, food, transportation)
  • Documentation (DS-2019) that enables the Fellow to obtain a J-1 visa.
Placement at a Host Organization
Participation in the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab (nonprofit management training series)

Go Up What is the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab?
The Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab comprises of more than 200 hours of experiential learning that is both theoretical and practical. At three, four-day training immersions convened over the course of the 12-month Fellowship in January, May, and September, Fellows participate in presentations and workshops led by innovative social change leaders who share practical strategies for social impact, as well as their own professional journeys. This professional development series intentionally combines hard skills like business planning and proposal writing with intensive workshops that explore critical soft skills like conflict resolution and leadership.

Helping develop the ability to see a better future, inspire others and implement innovative ideas requires a unique combination of awareness, knowledge, skill and experience. Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab complements the Host Organization experience with the opportunity to develop competencies in four key areas essential for the next generation of global changemakers. These core competencies are interwoven with an exploration of foundational skills of nonprofit leadership.

Go Up How do you determine the living stipend?
The living stipend is a fixed amount for all Fellows based off what U.S. citizens receive in service programs such as AmeriCorps VISTA. This opportunity is intended to be a full-time volunteer experience. The Atlas Corps Fellowship is not a full-time employment experience and therefore is not compensated with a salary. The stipend varies from city to city based off the cost of living. Here are the approximate annual stipends in various cities:
  • Washington, DC: $16,390.56
  • New York: $16,980.36
  • Atlanta: $13,953.6
  • Minneapolis: $13,372.68
  • San Francisco / Oakland: $21,073.56
  • Bogota, Colombia: 12,000,000 COP

Go Up What does the stipend cover?
The idea is that the living stipend will cover the basic expenses of housing, food, and transportation. Fellows will likely need to bring a little extra spending cash for personal items, such as clothing, or for personal travel and entertainment. We recommend Fellows have a little money saved for emergencies. There may be personal expenses Fellows may incur depending on their spending habits. Additional personal expenses may include entertainment, personal travel, emergencies, and other miscellaneous expenses. Personal expenses will not be reimbursed. Monthly budgets vary from city to city, but the monthly living budget for a Fellow in Washington, DC, is as follows:
  • Rent & Utilities: $789
  • Transportation: $200
  • Food and other small necessities: $376.88
  • Total $1,365.88/month

Go Up What kind of visa do I get?
Atlas Corps provides documentation to secure a J-1, Exchange Visitor visa (trainee designation).

Go Up What kind of issues or projects do Fellows work on?
Our Fellows work on a broad range of social issues, from education to the environment to human rights, and so on. The Fellow’s role at his or her Host Organization varies greatly from organization to organization. For some examples of what our current Fellows are doing at their Host Organizations, check out their biographies here.

Go Up Can I bring my family with me?
Atlas Corps discourages Fellows from bringing family members with them to the United States. Family members may visit the Fellow provided it does not interfere with work and fellowship responsibilities. Family members should not travel to the United States until the Fellow is well established in the Host organization. Atlas Corps does NOT provide financial support or visa sponsorship or documentation for spouses or other family members, and the living stipend and health insurance are only intended for one person. The Fellow is responsible for all costs incurred for and by family members, including the cost of securing a visa.

Go Up After the Fellowship, do I have to return to my home country?
Yes, one of the primary goals of Atlas Corps is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices between U.S. nonprofits and nonprofits in other countries. This exchange is completed once a Fellow returns home and is able to share and apply what he or she has learned.


Host Organizations

Our U.S. Partners:
American Jewish World Service
AmericaSCORES
AsianAmerican Lead
Ashoka
AYUDA
Center for Inspired Teaching
CentroNia
Civic Enterprises
CORE Group
Free the Slaves
Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute
GBCHealth
GeorgiaForward
Global Citizens Network
Global Fairness Initiative
GlobalGiving
Global Health Corps
Global Kids
GPConnect
Grameen Foundation
Habitat for Humanity
HasNa, Inc.
InsideNGO
International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
International Peace and Security Institute
International Relief and Development
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota
Management Systems International
MobileActive.org
Mobilize.org
National Audubon Society
NCOC
New York Needs You
One World Youth Project
Operation Smile
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Partners of the Americas
Points of Light Institute
Population Action International (PAI)
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
U.S. Peace Corps

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