A Division of the International Studies Office

International Student Citizen Leaders Fellowship

International Student Citizen Leaders Fellowship


The International Citizen Leaders Fellowship provides year-long mentorship and training to a select group of international students who want to design and implement an original project to improve the international student experience at UVA.

The Fellowship is a joint collaboration between the International Studies Office and the Contemplative Sciences Center’s Student Flourishing Initiative. The concept of flourishing is used to help students envision the forms of engagement they would like to see on Grounds to enhance the well-being of the greater international student community, or some subset within it. Through a series of reflective activities, periodic “coaching calls” and a one-credit short course in the spring, fellows learn a combination of contemplative practices and ethnographic methods to create change within themselves and the communities they care about. 

Fellows emerge having cultivated their own style of citizen leadership, one that enables them to lead their own lives in ways that are more actively engaged and values-driven, while making it possible for others to do the same.

Learn more about the 2022-2023 cohort of fellows here and the 2021-2022 cohort here


  • Summer 2023: Students can apply until September 22. Participants will be selected on the strength of their motivation and the clarity of their vision for improving the wellbeing of the international student community at UVA. Interviews will be conducted the week of September 25 and final selections made on October 3.
  • Fall 2023: Fellows begin the project planning and implementation process and engage in a self-paced, asynchronous series of guided activities (roughly one hour per week) which provide an introduction to the foundational concepts (leadership, contemplation, ethnography) at the heart of this fellowship. Fellows will gather two times in person, once in mid-October and again in mid-November, to build rapport and exchange ideas.
  • Spring 2024: Fellows will enroll in a ONE CREDIT SHORT COURSE (INST 2559 Flourishing Practicum for Citizen Leaders). The course meets for 8 weeks. Time and day will be determined based on fellows’ schedules after enrollment. The course introduces students to a set of research-based skills, including leadership and public speaking, which will help them move forward with their community-building projects and everyday forms of engagement.  
  • After Program Completion: After completing this year-long program fellows are encouraged to continue working on their community engagement projects. To this end, fellows will have continued access to “coaching calls” with ISO and CSC advisors. Fellows will also be invited to serve as mentors to subsequent cohorts of Citizen Leader Fellows. Through their continued involvement, fellows will contribute to the development of a network of engaged citizen leaders rooted within, and extending beyond, the international student community at UVA.

Eligibility Requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students who identify as international student students and are not in their final year of study.

Fellows Expectations and Commitments

  • Attend biweekly virtual mentoring sessions with a faculty advisor beginning in the Fall
  • Participate in the self-paced, asynchronous training in the fall (roughly one hour per week on your own time)
  • Create a project timeline in September
  • Adhere to project timeline deadlines and expectations set by advisor
  • Complete one-credit short course in Spring 2024
  • Present project outcomes in West Oval Room of Rotunda in May 2024

Why Become a Citizen Leaders Fellow?

The Citizen Leaders Fellowship provides the resources, support, and professional networks to pursue leadership goals you might not otherwise have opportunity to achieve in your academic, professional, or extra-curricular endeavors at UVA.  Here are some of the benefits to pursuing this competitive, professional fellowship:

1. Gain Professional Experience

You will gain professional skills that give you an edge in future job applications and interviews, including:

  • Accountability and Strong Work Ethic
  • Project Management
  • Professional Experience with Credential
  • Improved Oral and Written Communication
  • Research/Investigative Skills

2. Develop Leadership Skills

You will gain valuable leadership skills benefiting your personal, academic, and future professional life in the areas of:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Confidence

3. Make a difference in your community

Become an agent of positive change in the international student community at UVA and beyond by:

  • Strengthening empathy  
  • Feeling sense of purpose and connection
  • Having a positive impact on other’s lives
  • Discovering meaning and purpose in global identities

Application Process Outline


  • Application reviewed on a rolling basis followed by an interview.

  • Application deadline September 22. Selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Now Accepting Applications:   Google Application