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Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) is an independent non-profit organization that seeks to impact the lives of young college graduates by placing them in paid, yearlong fellowships with NGOs, government organizations, and multilateral institutions in Latin America. The PiLA experience aims to instill a lifelong appreciation and awareness of Latin America through inter-American exchange.
PiLA works with established organizations during the selection process. Placements are for 10–12 months and can start anytime between June and September of 2012, depending on the needs of the organization. For 2012-2013, PiLA expects to place 20-25 fellows throughout the region.
PiLA considers all applicants with a demonstrated interest in non-profit work in Latin America. Strong Spanish or Portuguese language skills are a bonus, but we are trying to secure a few fellowships in the Anglophone Caribbean for those with proficiency in languages other than Spa/Port. We will not offer any English-teaching placements this year, with the exception of the Princeton-Parramos Fellowship which is part teaching, part public health and is, therefore, aimed at candidates looking for public health experience. Our partner NGOs’ foci range from microfinance and natural resource conservation to public health and education policy, and beyond.
DEADLINE FOR ALL APPLICATIONS:
Tuesday, Nov. 20, Noon (for hand-delivered). All mailed applications must arrive in the office on the 20th, they may not be simply post-marked 11/20. Please adhere to this, as we begin the filing of applications immediately and late applications slow down the process
___ Application Fee: $50. Please make checks payable to Princeton in Latin America.
___ Resume: Your resume should include all pertinent contact information and should not exceed one page. Please do not forget to include public service and time spent in Latin America, noting what the purpose was (internships, study abroad, travel, living).
___ Letter of reference: Please include one letter of reference from a professor or an employer that comments on your work experience, skillsets, and personal characteristics that qualify you to live and work abroad. Please send this link to your letter writer: http://form.jotform.us/form/22582561888163
___ University Transcript and any Study Abroad Transcripts–If your University transcript lists Study Abroad courses and grades, then you do not need to provide an official S.A. transcript from that sponsoring institution.
___ Supplemental Language and Location Preference Form
Please submit all of the preceding in hard copy to
Princeton in Latin America (PiLA)
Attn: Claire Brown
194 Nassau St, ste. 210
Do not send us transcripts electronically unless it is somehow impossible to send a hard copy. Please ask your letter of reference writer to send it directly to PiLA; we cannot accept ones that are sent from them via the applicant. Your recommender will also need to upload the letter to our online application, as per the directions.
Fall: Students seeking more information or wishing to discuss positions available are encouraged to make an appointment with Executive Director Claire Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org, prior to applying.
October 2: PiLA General Information Session on Princeton Campus, 7:30 PM. Room TBD. We will try to make this a Skype Conference for those far from campus. If you are at any school near(ish) to Princeton and would like to join this session, please do! We will also try to hold a session in DC. There may be an additional session in NYC, likely based at Columbia but open to all. We also hope to hold one at Northwestern and this will be run by a PiLA alumnus.
November 20: Application Deadline
Jan. 3-6: On-campus interviews with PiLA selection committee. Finalists’ materials are forwarded to partner organizations. If it will be prohibitively expensive to come to Princeton, we can arrange for an off-site interview, but we prefer these to be the exceptions, as they are not easy to coordinate. For those living abroad during the interview session, we will arrange a Skype interview.
February-March: Organizations may contact finalists for further interviews.
Notification of placements is rolling. Therefore, fellowship acceptances must be made within 3 days of your receipt of the offer from PiLA. If finalists cannot commit, alternates are contacted.
Mid-May: Required new fellow orientation held at Princeton.
June-September: New fellows leave for Latin America. Departure date is negotiable and is arranged in conjunction with partner organization.
PiLA fellowships are paid positions. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend, either from PiLA or the partner organization, or a combination of the two, to cover daily living expenses: housing, food, and local transportation. In a few instances, you may be asked to do some of your own fundraising. Applicants and selected fellows should be prepared to assume the following costs:
1) Application fee: $50
2) For off-campus applicants: transportation expenses for trip to Princeton in February (interviews) and late May (orientation)
3) Pre-departure health expenses and health insurance (approx. $450 for the year)
4) Visa application fees
5) Round-trip airfare to Latin America
Upon selection for a fellowship, the PiLA home office will work with the fellow to arrange student loan deferrals, health insurance, and to provide letters of support for visas.
The Selection Process
The goal of the selection process is to match the top candidates with organizations in Latin America where they will excel. Applicants will be contacted for an initial interview with members of the Selection Committee to be held on campus in January. This interview will be partially conducted in Spanish and/or Portuguese. Following the interview, the Selection Committee will contact the finalists as well as alternates. The finalists’ materials will then be forwarded on to one or more partner organizations that may contact the finalists for further interviewing. Final fellowship offers will be extended in late February/early-mid March.
Below are the various essay questions, short and long, that you will need to upload into the actual application, which comes at the end of all the questions.
Please tell us your top three choices for fields of work and briefly explain why you’re interested in them. To get you started, here are a few topics with which partner NGOs deal: education reform, public health (women’s health, children’s health, malnutrition alleviation, men’s health, maternal health, etc), microfinance, entrepreneurship, community development, natural resource conservation. NB: At this stage it is not necessary, nor is it prefered or requested, to mention specific partner organizations. Please be aware that we are looking for people who are open-minded and who may be willing to try options other than those they have already researched. New placements often arise during the applications, interviews, and placement times, so partners may change. Again, we prefer that you not focus on specific NGOs in this essay. This is being over-stated because in the past, people have not listened to the request for fields of work and instead focus very specifically on the partners. Thank you.
Also be sure to note what kind of setting you prefer: urban, rural, small town, medium-sized city, etc.
Please don’t exceed 400 words.
PiLA currently has partnerships with organizations in the following countries. Please indicate your top three country choices.
North America: Mexico
Caribbean: Dominican Republic
Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua
South America: Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador, Panama
Please write, in approx. 300 words, which locations most interest you and why. [Please note that we feel strongly that people are best placed by field of interest because while you may love (for example) Buenos Aires, you may not love the NGOs with which we partner there and we have found, over the years, that people flourish when they love the work and may grow unhappy in a favorite location which does not provide a good fit workwise.]
Other Possible Plans for 2013-14
Please list here other programs to which you have applied (ex: PiAF, PiA, PP55, Teach for America, Fulbright, etc). Be assured that this will not work against you in any way, we promise! Please be forthright, not everyone has been in the past and on down the placement road, it’s gotten messy. We don’t want that and we know you don’t either! Thank you for understanding.
1) Please explain why you are interested in spending a year doing non-profit/public service work. Why are you drawn to this work for this year? What do you hope to gain from the experience? What do you hope to give to the NGO and community where you work and live? How does the focus of a PiLA fellowship fit into your future plans (maybe the next 5 years, not necessarily the rest of your life unless you know!). You may submit this on a separate sheet and keep it to 500-600 words.
2) Why do you want to spend this year in Latin America? What things, be they cultural, linguistic, anthropological, literary, political, economic, or otherwise, draw you to the region? What past experiences have framed your perspectives of Latin America and how? Why would you rather be in Latin America than another region of the world? Again, a separate sheet is fine and 500-600 words max.
We look forward to reading your application and getting to know you!