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IHP Trustees Fellows Employment

Each International Honors Program (IHP) student group is accompanied by a trained Trustees Fellow. The Fellow’s main priorities are to support the safety and well-being of all IHP participants and to facilitate an inclusive learning community that is conducive to academic and personal growth.


The position of the Trustees’ Fellow provides an opportunity to serve as a traveling facilitator for one of SIT Study Abroad’s global comparative theme-based, study abroad programs. IHP program offerings are intellectually and academically rigorous, intensive, and immersive with regular movement between geographic and cultural contexts. Fellows closely collaborate with program management, traveling faculty, and in-country coordinators to successfully deliver their IHP program.

The Fellow role is designed to support the individual and collective well-being of the student group throughout the course of the semester. Toward that end, the Fellow acts variously as a group facilitator, communicator, mentor, educator, trip leader, and risk manager. Fellows collaborate with faculty and staff throughout the program to guide students in accessing resources and establishing the support systems they need to adjust to living, learning, and traveling abroad. This entails caring for students when they encounter difficulty, and also challenging students to move through discomfort, try new things, and ask better questions that deepen the learning experience of the program as a whole. Fellows are an indispensable part of each IHP program as they help students take care of themselves and each other.

Trustees’ Fellows will travel with the student group and accompany traveling faculty on one of the following programs for fall and/or spring academic semesters:

  • IHP Climate Change
  • IHP Cities in the 21st Century
  • IHP Food Systems
  • IHP Health and Community Track 1
  • IHP Health and Community Track 2
  • IHP Human Rights, Fall and Spring
  • IHP International Relations 

For more program information visit the IHP and Comparative Programs page.

In the wake of the CoVid-19 pandemic and program re-design, the hiring cycle has been temporarily placed on hold.

Fellow Responsibilities

The responsibilities can be categorized as follows:

  • Support the physical safety and well-being of students on program
  • Engender a sense of belonging, community and reciprocal responsibility amongst the students
  • Organizational, logistical coordination and administrative reporting
  • Collaborate with program staff and in-country coordinators to deliver the programs in-country.
  • Attend the planning meetings prior to the start of the program
  • Attend pre-program meetings on site location prior to program start

Pre-Program Responsibilities

  • Mandatory attendance and full participation at planning meetings and training sessions.
  • Submit required hire paperwork and program materials as required by IHP by the appropriate deadline
  • Conduct student pre-departure phone calls
  • Strategize and create a framework for community and team building sessions and activities
  • Review student medical information and check in with each student during pre-departure

Program Responsibilities

Student Physical, Emotional Well-Being

  • Fellows are to help support the physical safety and well-being of students on program
  • Monitor students’ physical and mental health and work with country coordinators to obtain medical assistance when necessary
  • Be available to offer basic advice and support to students on their non-academic concerns and/or grievances
  • Be aware of warning signs of distress/stress in students
  • Assist during student hospital visits and accompany students to doctor/hospital when appropriate
  • Communicate student health requirements to local staff (i.e. for homestay assignments) and student health concerns to Student Health, Safety, and Well-being and administration
  • Assist with optional activities when possible to enhance group health and learning experiences

Learning Community and Group Dynamics

  • Engender a sense of belonging, community and reciprocal responsibility amongst the students
  • Contribute to the creation of a strong, inclusive learning community by facilitating sessions on community health, peer relationships, student responsibilities, conflict negotiation and other issues as they arise
  • Monitor student morale and keep faculty and coordinators apprised of any issues that might need to be addressed
  • Design and deliver team-building and community-building activities designed to bring the student group together to take an active role in their learning experience
  • Ensure students are aware of the program policies and regulations and the support available to them
  • Respect the privacy of students

Organizational and Administration

  • Maintain confidential, written record of student health concerns and incidents and maintain regular communication with the SIT Health, Safety, and Well-being office and program director regarding student well-being
  • Represent program in communications with students and in other exchanges
  • Uphold the program policies and regulations
  • Review with program directors the protocol for program evaluations and reporting expectations
  • Assist country coordinators and students with logistical planning
  • Ensure students and faculty are informed about program schedule and travel details
  • Ensure students are accounted for during vacations, travel periods, and field trips
  • Work with country coordinator to finalize homestay placements, and to resolve any issues related to accommodations as they arise
  • Review country schedules and advise faculty/coordinators on program developments; facilitate student self-management and monitor division of student responsibilities
  • Administer program evaluations when applicable

Program Delivery Support

  • Work with program staff to develop orientation and wrap-up sessions, establish student responsibilities, and coordinate group living arrangements
  • Assist program staff with administrative work and preparations for the program launch
  • Participate in training sessions
  • Assist program staff and faculty by leading debriefs, synthesis sessions, and seminar discussions related to program content on an as needed basis
  • Engage students in critical conversations regarding course and program content
  • Assist faculty with photocopying, printing, and other academic administrative duties as appropriate

Post-Program Responsibilities

  • Submit final report, evaluation
  • Submit financial reports in a timely manner
  • Work with the program director and SIT staff to ensure that all academic, program and trustees fellow materials are archived and revised as needed.
  • Serve as a resource for new Trustees Fellows by answering questions and providing feedback on the role or materials that they developed to support the position.

Professional Conduct:

  • Fellows are not permitted to be intoxicated during program
  • Fellows are not permitted to take payment from participants for any services they provide within or beyond the scope of their duties
  • Fellows are permitted to have only platonic relationships with participants and other staff
  • Fellows are to exercise discretion with private or commercially sensitive information that has come to their knowledge in the course of their job

Key Challenges

  • Time management – balancing the requirements of the job, the demands of your students and personal time
  • Being on-call 24-7
  • Establishing and maintaining boundaries with program participants and staff
  • Being proactive in addressing issues early
  • Dealing with negative behavior/group dynamics, student misconduct
  • Acknowledging and accepting the different working and communication styles
  • Occasional high demands during periods of crisis

Key Relationships

Trustees’ Fellows report to the Program Director and are expected to develop and maintain positive relationships with the following:

  • Students
  • Faculty
  • In-country teams
  • SIT Health, Safety, and Well-being staff
  • Other IHP Trustees Fellows
  • Other SIT Study Abroad/World Learning staff

Required Qualifications:

  • At least two years of professional, post-undergraduate experience
  • Experience working with university students in a leadership capacity
  • Risk management skills, basic knowledge of travel health and safety practices and an ability to respond effectively to difficult situations
  • Effective communication, active listening and facilitation skills for working with a diverse group of 30+ university-aged students in a physically and emotionally demanding cross-cultural setting
  • Ability to relate well and work collaboratively with a diverse team of co-workers
  • Experience living/working overseas or negotiating between cultures/norms
  • Cultural sensitivity, diplomacy and an ability to adapt to new and challenging environments
  • Demonstrated experience in leadership and community- or team-building
  • Excellent record-keeping and reporting skills with an ability to organize, plan, and execute a variety of administrative and logistical tasks
  • The confidence, experience and emotional maturity to assume a position of mentor and role model, willingness to put their students’ learning and development ahead of their own experience and the ability to maintain boundaries and confidentiality
  • Experience with crisis response
  • Preferential consideration will be given to alumni of SIT and IHP/Comparative programs, as well as alumni of the SIT Graduate Institute

Required Education

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Academic training, experience and/or demonstrated interest in the program theme.
  • Mental health, medical experience and background
  • CPR/First Aid training/certification
  • Mental Health First Aid training/certification
  • Background or training facilitating conversations around identity, power, and privilege
  • Applicants with advanced degrees (in progress or completed) or other post-college experience are encouraged to apply
Benefits & Opportunities

Pay, Benefits, and Opportunities

  • A Fellow working for one year (twelve-month fixed term offer letter) will receive an annual salary and health, emergency and insurance
  • A Fellow working for a single semester (six-month fixed term offer letter) will receive a salary and emergency and accident and illness insurance
  • IHP covers Fellows’ program-related travel expenses, including international flights to and from the program countries and transportation, lodging, meals, communication and incidentals while on program.
  • Program itineraries are planned in advance by IHP in conjunction with the in-country coordinators, allowing Fellows to focus their energy and skills on facilitating student learning, managing group dynamics and facilitating experiential learning and reflection.
Frequently Asked Questions
When are Fellows expected to be available?

Fellows are expected to arrive on-site at the program launch city 3-4 days prior to the official start of the program and stay on-program until the official group flight departs from the final site at the close of the program.

Additionally, there is a significant amount of pre-program work required prior to the program start. This work begins slowly about two to three months before the program’s official start and can involve a few hours a month spent on phone calls, paperwork processing and submission, and reading program materials. At the four to six week mark prior to the program start, the work load will pick up and Fellows can expect a few hours of work a week spent in online training and conference calls, in conversation with program and travel staff, and preparing and processing student work. Two to three weeks prior to the official start of the program, Fellows can expect about 20 hours of work a week, spent consulting and advising students, preparing lesson plans and activities, and in conference calls and online trainings with program staff.

Do Fellows get to choose their program?

Applicants can indicate their program preferences in the application.

Do I have to speak a foreign language to be considered?

Foreign language proficiency is not a requirement of the job, but many previous Fellows have spoken a foreign language. If you speak a language spoken in one of the program countries, please note it in your application.

Do I have to have lived or experienced all the program countries?

No, but experience, knowledge and/or genuine interest in learning about the country/culture is a plus.

Do my references need to provide recommendation letters?

No, please do not submit letters of recommendation with your application. Please list your references’ contact information and we will contact them during the interview stage of the selection process.

What is the IHP student group like that Fellows travel with?

IHP student groups typically range from 20-32 students and are often quite geographically, ethnically, ideologically, and economically diverse. While a majority of students are U.S. residents and studying at U.S. universities and colleges, this is not the rule. Students come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds but share an interest in the program content and/or comparative study abroad approach.

IHP program offerings are rigorous and intense. What support do Fellows receive?

Fellows receive training and resources prior to the start of the program. Additionally, their program director is a point of contact and support while they are traveling. SIT Student Health, Safety, and Well-being handles crises and emergencies that go beyond the scope of the Fellow. Also, Fellows can rely on the community of Fellows on other IHP programs for support and as collaborative partners.

What expenses are Fellows responsible for? What expenses does IHP cover?

Past Fellows have reported that they typically have very few expenses while on the program. 

IHP pays for the Fellow’s travel to the program site at the start of the program and travel home at the close of the program. Fellows will receive a daily stipend in local currency to cover day-to-day costs, including all meals and daily transit.

Any travel done during free time or over the vacation period is the Fellow’s responsibility. Other expenses that Fellows are responsible for: personal shopping, purchase of souvenirs, travel outside of the program sites (tourist sites, etc.), personal bills/loan payments.

Where do Fellows stay during the programs?

Like students, Fellows stay at a variety of different places including shared rooms/apartments with other staff, dorms, homestay families over the course of the semester. Much depends on the location and corresponding cultural norms.

Can I have family/friends visit me whilst on program?

Due to the rigorous nature of both the role and programs, past IHP students and staff have found it difficult to host family and friends while the program is in session.

Fellows should be sure that relatives and friends understand the difficulty of visits, and should plan for travel after the formal conclusion of the program.

For programs that conclude outside of the U.S., can I stay in-country after the end of the program?

Fellows are responsible for ensuring that all students traveling on the official group flight are checked-in and through immigration. Once this group flight departs, Fellows are released from their student support role, and are responsible for their own expenses (i.e. travel, accommodation, meals).

While IHP covers the cost for the Fellow to return to their home city, any additional costs related to change of flights/locations will be the responsibility of the Fellow. In the past Fellows have stayed in country, traveled in the region or to other locations, or returned home. 

How To Apply

To apply to be an IHP Trustees Fellow, please submit the following application materials as listed at our application portal.

In the wake of the CoVid-19 pandemic and program re-design, the hiring cycle has been temporarily placed on hold.

Application Checklist

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • 3 references including contact email and direct phone number (at least 2 professional)
  • Short Answer Essay Responses to the following questions:
  1. Please indicate your program(s) of choice by order of preference (i.e. Cities in the 21st Century, Health & Community, Human Rights, Food Systems, Social Innovation) and describe your interests in and experience with their content areas, including related teaching abilities. For example, in what ways could contribute to the program based on your issue experience? Indicate your preference for fall and/or spring semesters. (500 words or less)
    For new applicants answer questions 2-4. Returning Fellows (within the past 3 years) answer only question 5.
  2. Please tell us your story – where have you traveled and lived, what experiences have been particularly significant in your life? (300 words or less)
  3. Please describe your working style on staff teams and instances when you had to motivate a group/team, give examples. (300 words or less)
  4. How do you function when you’re working under significant time pressure, high stress or crisis situations and/or lack of sleep? Give examples. (300 words or less)
  5. Why do you want to return to IHP? What are some ways (similar and/or different) you would approach the role as a returning Fellow?