Frequently Asked Questions

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We seek applicants who aim to fulfill PiA’s mission to foster mutual appreciation and cross-cultural understanding between the United States and Asia through immersive work fellowships in host organizations and communities. Successful candidates are those who seek a transformative experience, want to contribute to their host organization, want to facilitate cultural exchange through relationship building, and demonstrate personal and professional readiness to function effectively in a foreign living and work environment. 

Our Fellows embody the following values: 

Transformation. Our Fellows are open to being transformed by their work and their relationships with the people with whom they interact abroad.

Immersion. Our Fellows strive to be citizens of the communities in which they live and work, becoming fully immersed in the life of their host organization and communities.

Relationship building. Our Fellows build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with their peers, community members, and each other.

Humility. Our Fellows dedicate themselves to professional service in the organizations where they work and the communities where they live, and approach their daily interactions with respect and understanding.

Mutuality and interdependence. Our Fellows are both learning from the communities in which they work and teaching people in those communities about what life is like in the United States, fostering cross-cultural understanding and mutual understanding and respect.

Contributing to the community. Our Fellows endeavor to contribute to their host communities and broader global community by making a lasting difference.

While cross-cultural experience can be helpful in preparing a Fellow to transition to foreign living and work environment,  it is not essential. We look for Fellows who have a strong work ethic and are committed to the PiA experience, who demonstrate the maturity and professionalism necessary to steward cross-cultural relationships, who demonstrate resourcefulness and self-management, and who are adaptable and resilient. 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. Additionally, applicants may choose to apply for a specially-designated two-year fellowship.

PiA plans to offer 40 full-year fellowships in the 2023-2024 cycle. Applicant numbers vary from year to year, but we anticipate at least 10 applicants per available position. Please note that a handful of fellowships will be occupied by second-year Fellows.

No. PiA is based on campus at Princeton University, but it is open to graduates of all colleges and universities. 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 before their anticipated fellowship start date. However, lived experience in the United States is critical to the applicant’s ability to articulate how they will fulfill PiA’s mission of building mutual understanding between the United States and Asia. 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 or near-native English-speaking ability.

Yes. There is no age limit for positions with PiA, although positions are entry-level and most suitable for recent graduates or applicants with a few years of work experience.

Yes. Interviews will be held virtually, and applicants will be expected to have their interview during PiA office hours. It will still be the applicant’s responsibility to secure a work visa, which may be more challenging while working or studying abroad.

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

For most positions, having experience in Asia does not provide an advantage; however, there are a handful of positions that require knowledge of or work experience in Asia and/or Asian language skills. Most positions can be filled by applicants with an interest in and a desire to learn about Asia, rather than in-depth knowledge. A key component of a PiA fellowship is to have a transformational experience. Because of this, we aim to place Fellows where they will be appropriately challenged and have the opportunity to learn something new. All applicants, regardless of Asia experience, should be ready to speak to their potential for growth through a PiA fellowship.

For the 2023-24 application, you will be asked to indicate placement preferences. A list of our 2023-24 Fellowship positions will be posted when the application is opened for you to review, including the information needed to assess your fit given the required/desired skills of the host organization. A few additional posts currently in development will be finalized and shared with applicants who reach the interview stage of our application process.  Your preferences are important information for us; however, they are used as a guideline rather than a restriction. 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. In addition to English teaching fellowships, we offer positions in a variety of issue areas, including arts and culture, economic development, environmental sustainability, public health, sports, STEM, and peace, justice, and access to information.

Not yet. Applicants who reach the nomination stage of the selection process will be provided with reports written by past Fellows for the posts that we are offering (if applicable), or in the case of a new position, reports from positions in that country.  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. We anticipate finalizing a few new posts in addition to the list provided at the point of our application opening. A finalized list will be made available for those reaching the interview stage of our application process. Each year, PiA typically adds new positions and eliminates others.

Here are some questions we ask candidates to help guide their thinking about what post might best suit them: Do your skills and experience align with those required for the post you list as your preference? What sort of skills do you hope to develop in your post? 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 a group of PiA Fellows or would you rather venture on your own? Do you have a medical condition that may require access to specific care during your fellowship year? Do you like spicy food?

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 and will be held in June. Please check the Application Timeline for specific dates. While all sessions are recorded, synchronous sessions are mandatory and can only be missed under extraordinary circumstances, including, but not limited to, your college graduation. Any conflicts should be communicated to and approved by Program Directors in advance of Orientation sessions.

Though a local living stipend will be provided by the host organization, a position with PiA is generally not a money-making venture. Working hours and vacation time vary greatly among the diverse PiA offerings. Some teaching fellowships require fewer teaching hours and provide longer vacations, offering Fellows the opportunity to pursue intensive language study or other community service. Workplace fellowships, however, provide less vacation time and generally require longer hours.

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