Barnard Global Symposium Student Fellows

This year, the Global Symposium will be held in New York, on Barnard’s campus, on Friday, March 13, 2015 (right before spring break). To allow Global Symposium Faculty Fellows and Student Fellows the opportunity to build on their experience of the Global Symposium with their own experience of global engagement, the College will sponsor over spring break three separate and concurrent trips to three major cities around the world: one group will travel to Mumbai, one group will travel to Paris, and one group will travel to Rio. Each group will be comprised of 2 faculty members, 4 students, and 1 staff member.

In the videos below, past Student Fellows share their experiences of the Global Symposium trips in Johannesburg, Mumbai and São Paolo:




Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Current Barnard sophomores, juniors, and seniors may apply. Fellows must be on campus for the full 2014-2015 academic year.

What are you looking for in an applicant?

The committee will look for demonstrated interest in the region, leadership development, women’s issues, or other relevant areas. It may also be helpful to have experience in public speaking, event planning, or leadership positions. Students must be in good academic standing, and should have strong time management skills.

What is the time commitment?

Fellows are expected to meet weekly during the spring semester, to commit an average of 5-10 hours per week to work related to the Symposium, and to spend the majority of their spring break in one of the selected cities (Mumbai, Paris, Rio).

What responsibilities do Fellows have?

  •   Between the date of selection and March 6, 2015,
    • assist in preparations for the 2015 Global Symposium;
    • prepare, with guidance from the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, a workshop on leadership and global engagement for high school students; and
    • conduct the workshop on leadership and global engagement with high school students from local high schools in New York.
  • During the week of March 9,
    • attend events related to the Global Symposium;
    • interact with and provide assistance to special guests of the College participating in the Global Symposium; and
    • provide support for all Global Symposium programs on March 12 and 13.
  • During Spring Break, travel to one of the three selected cities in order to
    • explore through activities and discussions with the entire group of faculty, students, and staff a topic that relates to the goals of the Global Symposium;
    • conduct the workshop on leadership and global engagement with local high school students in the city;
    • create a multimedia account of the trip to share with the Barnard community; and
    • participate in a celebratory event with Barnard students, alumnae and the extended Barnard community in that region.
  • During the second half of the spring semester,
    • plan an event to share your multimedia account with the Barnard community.

What does the fellowship include in terms of compensation and/or experiential rewards?

Student Fellows will have the opportunity to interact with women leaders from around the world at the Global Symposium; will develop skills in collaboration, presentation, event-planning, and cross-cultural communication; and will have a profound learning experience abroad with Barnard faculty and staff. Student Fellows will be awarded the cost of the faculty-student trip during spring break, including round-trip airfare to the selected city, four nights in a double hotel room with another Student Fellow, and related meals, ground transportation and planned activities. Any visa or vaccination costs will also be covered. Please note that students will not receive any academic credit or monetary compensation for their work.

How do I apply?

Submit the following by Tuesday, November 18 by email to and by hard copy to 110 Milbank.

  1. Online application
    • Before submitting the application, select the option “Send me a copy of my responses” at the bottom of the page. Then submit the online application, print your copy of the responses, and include the printed copy at the top of your application.
    • Note: The online application will ask for the name and email address of a Barnard or Columbia faculty member who has agreed to serve as a reference for you. We will send a request via email to the faculty member to complete a confidential recommendation. You may also choose to include the name and email address of a second reference, who may be a Barnard/Columbia faculty or staff member, but the second reference is not required.
  2. A copy of your current unofficial Barnard transcript.
  3. A copy of your current resume.
  4. A short statement (1 page, double-spaced) that explains why you ranked the three selected trips in the order that you did. Your explanation should clarify what connections you may have to each place—e.g., academic interest, personal background, specific points of curiosity.
  5. A short statement (1-2 pages, double-spaced) that answers the following question: If you were to go on the trip that is your first preference, what field trip would you propose for that city that would teach the group something about the role/status/experiences/history/rights of women in that region? Your answer should include an actual itinerary of activities; some examples might include, but are not limited to, interviews or conversations with individuals or groups, visits to sites or exhibits or performances, topics for follow-up discussions among the group.
  6. A short statement (1-2 pages, double-spaced) that answers the following questions: What is a specific issue that women face when acting in, or pursuing, positions of leadership; why does that issue interest you; where do you see evidence of that issue in current news and other media coverage of the city and/or region you hope to visit (i.e., the trip that is your first preference); and what specific details of that coverage offer you insight into the experiences of women in that city/region?   

Do I have to have a letter of recommendation from a faculty member? My TA/supervisor/Dean knows me so much better!

Yes, you must have a faculty recommendation, but you may request one additional recommendation letter if you wish. Please note that recommendations may NOT come from a class dean.

When will I find out if I’ve been selected?

All student applications will be considered by a selection committee, and a smaller number of students will be invited for interviews during the week of December 1. Selected Student Fellows will be notified of the decision by the end of the fall semester, no later than December 18. Application deadline: Tuesday, November 18.


If you have further specific questions, email