Frequently Asked Questions

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We're looking for open-minded, self-motivated, enthusiastic and hardworking young people. Previous cross-cultural experience can be helpful but is not essential. A patient and flexible outlook toward career decisions is also beneficial. We hope our first-year Fellows will seriously consider the possibility of staying a second year, as Fellows' language and teaching/workplace skills, as well as their cultural awareness, usually improve considerably during a second year on PiA.

Applicant numbers vary from year to year, but there have consistently been four or more strong applicants per opening. Candidates who have clearly defined goals yet demonstrate flexibility regarding placement have better chances.

No. PiA is based on campus at Princeton University, but it is open to graduates of all colleges and universities. Though a large proportion of our applicants are Princeton University students, for any specific fellowship opening, we are looking for the best possible candidate regardless of one’s undergraduate institution.

No. PiA is open to anyone of any nationality who has earned a bachelor’s degree or will obtain a bachelor’s degree by summer 2021. It is important to note that host country visa restrictions may limit the number of potential posts for citizens of certain nationalities. Moreover, applicants who are in the process of applying for permanent residency or citizenship in the U.S. are advised to consult a legal professional about the impact that a fellowship may have on their immigration status.

No. However, all positions require professional proficiency in English, and English teaching positions require native English-speaking ability.

Yes. Approximately one-third of the most recent cohort of PiA Fellows had graduated from college before they applied to PiA.

Yes. We receive a number of applications from overseas candidates each year. If you are selected for an interview, we will ask you to interview virtually during our office’s working hours. 

You must have your bachelor’s degree by the summer of 2021. We do accept candidates with master’s degrees, but not those with professional degrees. Keep in mind that PiA fellowships are mostly entry-level positions and are geared towards recent college graduates.

No. There are a handful of positions that require some previous experience and/or Asian language skills (see fellowship descriptions on the PiA website for more information), but for most positions we are looking for an interest in and a desire to learn about Asia, rather than in-depth knowledge. As a key goal of PiA is to serve as a launching pad to Asia and to put people outside of their comfort zones, we aim to identify the post where a Fellow will be challenged and will have the opportunity to learn something new. As such, it is unlikely that an applicant who has spent a meaningful amount of time in a particular country will be placed in that same country as a Fellow. Likewise, applicants with a significant amount of work experience in Asia should consider other programs.

For the 2021-22 application, you will be asked to indicate a region and issue of interest. However, you will not be asked to list specific post preferences. This is due to various unpredictable impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of specific fellowship opportunities. Your regions and issues of interest are important information for us; however, they are used as a guideline rather than a restriction. Applicants apply to the program in general, not for specific posts, and we encourage applicants to keep an open mind to ideas outside of their initial preferences during the placement process. Keep in mind that a certain degree of flexibility may increase your chances of placement.

No. While more than half of our Fellows are employed as English teachers at universities, colleges, and high schools, there are also specialized positions with organizations that contribute to the following global issues: education, environmental sustainability, public health, economic development, and peace, justice, and access to information.

Applicants should read reports written by previous Fellows about their positions, which are available on our website. Please email piaapps@princeton.edu to obtain the login information to access the Fellow reports. 

Not yet. Applicants who reach the finalist stage of the selection process may be put in touch with recent Fellows/alumni from the post for which they are being considered. Until that stage of the process, you may learn more about specific posts and countries by reading Fellow reports and conducting your own research. Please do not contact any PiA host organization directly until PiA has officially introduced you. Any applicant who circumvents PiA’s selection process by contacting a PiA host organization directly will be automatically disqualified from consideration for a PiA fellowship.

Yes. Every year, PiA typically adds new positions and eliminates others, with details not finalized until January. 

Here are some questions we ask candidates to help discover what post might best suit them: What is your college major/area of interest, and how might you apply that to working in Asia? What kind of climate do you like? Do you like living in big cities or small towns? What do you want to do in your free time? What kind of work environment do you want? Do you want to live in a more developed or less developed area? Do you want to live in a city with a group of PiA Fellows, or a city with just one co-Fellow? Do you have a medical condition that may require access to care during your fellowship year? Do you like spicy food? (We hope so!)

No. Once you have been offered a PiA fellowship and have accepted, you are required to withdraw all applications you have submitted for other jobs and fellowship programs. 

PiA Orientation will be virtual for the 2021-22 cycle. While we are still working out the details of this online event, in the case that it does conflict with your graduation ceremony, we will be able to work with you on an individual basis to ensure you can complete all Orientation requirements, as our Orientation does not require your in-person attendance. Please note, however, that you will be expected to virtually attend all Orientation events live if your graduation does not pose a timing conflict. 

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