How to Apply

The application for 2021-22 fellowship placements is now closed.

Thanks to all our applicants for your interest in PiLA!

A Princeton in Latin America fellowship experience is often described as a transformational experience, both for personal and professional development and growth. It is often also the start of a career in development or social responsibility in Latin America. It is an opportunity to join a growing community of alumni, passionate agents for good in an array of sectors.

The fellowship experience varies greatly depending on placement and organization. Some Fellows work closely with a supervisor or colleague(s); others work more independently. Some Fellows work in offices that are filled with local staff; others work with a high number of North American expatriates. Some Fellows live in urban areas like Mexico City or Lima; and others are based in semi-urban and rural areas with limited resources.

No matter the host organization or location, all fellowships last approximately 12 months (with the exception of remote fellowships during the COVID-19 pandemic). Placements are finalized in the spring and start dates range from June to August. All Fellows experience a support community from Princeton in Latin America staff, alumni, and other Fellows. Fellows will be matched with alumni buddies and mentors during the fellowship and beyond.

Successful applicants have excellent writing & analytical skills, and show empathy, professionalism and drive. During their fellowship they continue to develop their resilience, vision and agency. Professional Spanish (alternatively Portuguese or French) is essential. Some of our partner organizations ask for highly specific skillsets and types of placements so there is no general formula or rule. However, a sustained record of academic achievement and service, empathy, resilience, commitment and humility are strong indicators of success. Other very important qualities are the so-called "soft" communication and interpersonal skills that include being a good team member, the flexibility to adapt successfully to shifting circumstances during the fellowship, a sense of humor and the capacity to quickly form and be included in a community.

PiLA Fellows come from many fields of study such as STEM, social sciences and humanities, pre-med, law, public policy, education, international relations, communications, and more. PiLA Fellows are from diverse backgrounds including many of Latin American heritage as well as first-generation college students.

Application for Princeton in Latin America fellowships is open to graduates of accredited U.S. and Canadian universities. International students who have  graduated within the last 3 years from a college or university accredited in the U.S. or Canada may apply. Please note that, in certain cases, visa eligibility for destination countries may be a determining factor in placement.


  • Open to young professionals and graduating seniors
  • Graduate of U.S. or Canadian accredited University
  • Professional / advanced Spanish language skills

Application Requirements

  • Résumé
  • Unofficial transcript(s)
  • Professional or academic letter of recommendation
  • $100 Application Fee (Nonrefundable. Fee reductions available for students receiving financial aid.)
  • Complete Online Application

Incomplete Applications will not be accepted.


PiLA is conducting a standard fall application schedule for the 2021-22 program, but just as the 2020-21 PiLA Fellows are starting their placements remotely, it is possible that 2021-22 placements will be partly remote. The specifics of the 2021-22 fellowship program will depend on global and regional travel, health, and security conditions next year. No matter the shape and realities of forthcoming PiLA placements, we are confident in our Fellows’ ability to provide valuable support and in our partners’ ability to offer a meaningful service experience as well as opportunities to contribute to social change and to recovery from the economic and public health challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The numbers of potential PiLA placements (and finalists for those placements) have not yet been defined, as we and our valued partner organizations are operating under multiple uncertainties. Program selectivity rates may be higher this year than in previous years due to increased demand as well as placement uncertainties. Please understand that now, as in previous years, in applying for a PiLA fellowship you are applying for the opportunity to be considered for multiple placements, and not applying for any one position or organization. As always, the final decision to offer a placement (as well as the decision of which candidate to select) is taken by our partners. We welcome any questions (, but ask for your understanding in accepting that we may not have all the answers at this time.



Fellowship begins between June and August and ends approximately 12 months after the start date.

Application timeline:

Thursday, September 10, 2020
Application goes live

Thursday, November 12, 2020
Application deadline

December 2020 - January 2021
Applicants moving to interview stage are notified to sign up for interview day & time

January - February 2021
Virtual interviews (in-person interviews if conditions allow)

March - May 2021
Ongoing partner interviews, placement offers, and acceptance of offers until all spots are filled

June 12-13, 2021
MANDATORY Orientation either in Princeton or virtual as conditions allow

June - August 2021
Fellowships begin



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