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The Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship

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A Living Tribute to Alice Rowan Swanson, Amherst College ’07, SIT Study Abroad ’06

The Alice Rowan Swanson Fellowship was established in 2009 by the family of SIT Study Abroad Nicaragua ’06 alumna Alice Rowan Swanson as a living tribute to Alice’s life, her passion for bridging cultures and helping others, and the role that SIT Study Abroad played in her life. An Amherst ‘07 graduate, Alice was killed while riding her bike to work in 2008.

Alice’s family believes Alice would have spent her life advancing human rights abroad, particularly in developing countries. In honor of Alice, her work, and her passions, this fund awards fellowships twice annually to SIT Study Abroad and IHP alumni to return to their program country and pursue further development projects benefiting human rights in that region.

Profile of a Fellowship Project

A fellowship project should be

  • initially called for by the community
  • focused on improving human rights in that region or community
  • a local, grassroots initiative
  • innovative, culturally sensitive, and feasible
  • primarily implemented by the fellow

Profile of a Fellow

A fellow will demonstrate qualities resembling Alice which, in her family’s words, include:

  • intelligence and passion for learning
  • great warmth and friendliness
  • a smiling, welcoming personality
  • sharp intellectual rigor and fine writing
  • an adventurous desire to experience untraditional locations

A fellow will be eligible if they:

  • have participated in an SIT Study Abroad or IHP program
  • possess experiences and future plans which give evidence of an active interest in world affairs
  • give clear purpose as to how their project abroad experience relates to their future goals.

A fellow will be preferred if they:

  • have completed their SIT or IHP program within the last five years
  • have not yet returned to their program host country or community
  • participated in an in-person program

View previous Alice Rowan Swanson fellows.

How to Apply

Fellowship applications are reviewed twice annually, with application deadlines on October 1st and March 1st each year. Applications and reference forms must be submitted by 5:00PM (ET) on these dates.

We are currently accepting applications for the spring 2024 cycle with applications due March 1, 2024.

Online Fellowship Application
Online Reference Form


Please review the Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about applying and the Fellowship. If you have additional questions, please contact us.