Undergraduate opportunities

Pre-Experiencing the World Fellowship Program


Conduct RESEARCH in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Gain RESOURCES to prepare you and fund your research

Build RELATIONSHIPS with faculty and peers


The Kellogg Institute's Pre-Experiencing the World Fellowship Program is for first year and sophomore students interested in the research theme of international development and who have no prior international travel experience.



For a second summer, the Kellogg Institute will run the pre-Experiencing the World program for first year and sophomore students interested in the research theme of sustainable  development. This program is geared towards students  who do not have travel experience, particularly in the developing world.

For summer 2024, students participating in this program will travel as a group to one of two locations: Livingstone, Zambia or Monte Plate, Dominican Republic from approximately May 25 - June 23, 2024. While in country, students will work in teams with local schools, participate in weekend excursions and engage in reflection and discussions regarding what they are learning each evening as a team.

For each location, 8-10 students will be selected through an application process to become part of a team of students who will get to know each other and gain knowledge about sustainable development and the work of the Kellogg Institute. Students will participate in a series of mandatory spring orientations, a 4-week in-country program, and a reentry retreat in the fall. Through this program, students will gain an appreciation for development work, a curiosity about the issues people face in other parts of the world and, hopefully, a desire to pursue coursework and/or Kellogg programming to conduct research on international development in the future.

Undergraduate Senior Role

One Notre Dame student will be selected to accompany each group for the four weeks of the program.  Preference will be given to a senior with international travel experience (preferably in Africa for Zambia and in Latin America for the Dominican Republic) and experience leading a group. More information regarding the application will be available in January.

This program is made possible by the very generous support of Mary and Jamie O’Connell.

Levels of Support

The cost of the program as well as airfare and vaccines will be covered by the Kellogg Institute for all students accepted into the program. Students identified by financial aid with extra needs will receive an additional $500 to cover the costs of expenses such as a visa and supplies needed for the trip as well as extra travel expenses. All participating students will receive a $1000 financial award to help make up for income they might have received working during this time period.

Questions about the Zambia program should be submitted to Associate Director Holly Rivers at 631-6023.

Questions about the Dominican Republic program should be submitted to Program Manager Rachel Thiel at 631-4846.

2024 Deadline: Monday, March 4


One group of students will travel to Livingstone, Zambia working with Kaya Responsible Travel. Livingstone is a historic city and the present capital of the Southern Province of Zambia. It is a tourism center for Victoria Falls (Mosi-oa-Tunya) lying 10 km (6.2mi) north of the Zambezi River, and a border town with road and rail connections to Zimbabwe on the other side of the Falls. Livingstone acts as a gateway to the Falls and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park.

Zambian culture is considered a mixture of traditional Bantu and modern European influences. Colonization and urbanization caused a number of previously competing tribes to live in close proximity to one another. All of this has helped shape the culture of Zambia - whose people now retain strong ties to their clans alongside a strong united national identity.

Project Focus

Students in this program will work in small groups on a multifaceted project aimed at exposing local girls and boys to discussions around gender equality and empowerment. Alongside the local team, every morning, the groups will prepare and deliver a series of workshops to local grade 8-12 students from two schools. Typically, workshop topics are not standalone and are designed to be delivered as a 3-4 workshop series, and may be presented to multiple classes over the course of the project. Workshop topics include: Gender-Based Violence, Mental Health, Women’s Health and Self-Esteem.

In the afternoons, students will engage in various community development initiatives including other girl impact projects for boys and girls in grades 5-6; after-school activities to help engage children, including  clubs addressing reading, health, math,, art  and rugby as well as an Eco Club, where local children learn about the environment and climate change. During the afternoon, students may work alongside other international volunteers. In the evening, students will participate in activities hosted at the volunteer house, including workshops such as Nyanja Language Lessons. Students will also engage in evening reflection as a group to discuss and reflect upon their daily experiences.

Kaya Responsible Travel

Kaya Responsible Travel is an organization that specializes in providing meaningful and ethical international experiences for both individual students and university groups.

Their mission is to promote sustainable social, environmental and economic development, empower communities and cultivate educated, compassionate global citizens through responsible travel. We do this by offering a wide range of academic programs in real-life learning environments across 28 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Dominican Republic

More information about this location will be available soon.


Students interested in this fellowship must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a first year or sophomore student.
  • Have a demonstrated interest in international development. 
  • Have no prior experience traveling in developing countries. (Students with family in a developing country may make an argument for eligibility.)
  • Be mature, willing and able to be a positive participant in a group.
  • Be available for all spring orientations as well as dates of travel of May 25-June 23.
  • By early March, have a passport in order to get a visa on time. (Students needing assistance on this topic may speak with Holly Rivers.)

Students selected for the program will begin preparing for their summer experience through a series of orientations with the Institute. Failure to attend orientations in full will result in cancellation of the award.

Upon their return, each recipient will submit a detailed report of approximately 1,000 words which evaluates the challenges and rewards of pursuing the field project and which discusses how the experience informed their understanding of the region. Recipients may be invited to make a public presentation on their field experience and talk to other students interested in applying in the future.

For questions about this program, please contact Associate Director Holly Rivers (hrivers@nd.edu/1-6023).

Application Process

All applicants with questions should meet with Associate Director Holly Rivers for Zambia or Program Manager Rachel Thiel for the Dominican Republic

To apply to be a part of the Kellogg Institute’s Pre-ETW Fellowship Program, please go to the online application page. You can login to the application system using your Notre Dame credentials. Before sending questions to the program administrators, please open the application and review.

Students applying for the senior role, apply here.

2024 Deadline: Monday, March 4


The application consists of the following:

  • An application form of basic information about yourself
  • A 3-page document responding to 3 prompts on the application that address your interest in and understanding of international development, your ability to be a positive contributor to a group and your willingness and desire to uphold commitments even in difficult circumstances.
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member who can speak to your ability to be a strong participant in this program. The system will ask for the name and email address of the person whom you have asked to write a letter of recommendation. Please request the letter from your faculty recommender several weeks ahead of the deadline, and please inform him/her that the email will come from Submittable.
  • A resume
  • An e-transcript (see information regarding how to request an e-transcript.) Applicants must request their e-transcript by 4:00pm at least two business days before the deadline in order to upload it into the application system on time.

Orientation dates will be set based on availability provided in applications by selected students. Orientations will be mandatory for students to be allowed to travel with this group.


Pre-Experiencing the World Fellowships