How to Apply


Application Cycle Update: August 2021

As colleges and universities prepare for the return to campus for a new academic year, we are sharing an important update regarding our application and placement cycles. PiLA will NOT hold a standard application cycle this fall and instead will focus on working with recent deferred finalists that remain interested and available to engage in our placement process, with the goal that as many deferred finalists as possible are matched with potential partners and will be able to interview (virtually) for tentative placements for 2022-2023. If, after working with finalists deferred from the Spring 2021 and Spring 2020 finalist pools, we determine that we will still need new applicants to fill available placements, it is possible we will open an abbreviated application cycle in early 2022. Any updates concerning an off-cycle application process, if occurring, will be posted on our website in early 2022.

Please read our full update here.



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 are often 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 4 years from a college or university accredited in the U.S. or Canada may apply but should note that 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.


Standard Application Timeline*

Fellowships begin between June and August and end approximately 12 months after the start date.

Application goes live

Application deadline

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

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

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

MANDATORY Orientation either in Princeton or virtual as conditions allow

June - August
Fellowships begin


*Please note, as indicated above, PiLA will NOT hold a standard application cycle in Fall 2021.

The specifics of the 2022-2023 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 have not yet been defined, as we and our valued partner organizations are operating under multiple uncertainties. Program cohort size may be smaller next year than in fellowship cycles prior to the pandemic. Please understand that now, as in previous years, in applying for a PiLA fellowship (and if selected as a finalist), 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.



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