World House Student Fellows

The Undergraduate World House Student Fellows Program is a unique, experiential learning opportunity—and Perry World House’s flagship undergraduate engagement initiative. Applications for the 2024-2025 class of World House Student Fellows are open now.

Each year, 25-30 Fellows are competitively selected from Penn’s four schools (The College of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Nursing and Wharton). The students’ range of talents and interests lends a natural diversity to the group, yet they have two important things in common: their keen interest in global affairs, and their commitment to collectively addressing a pressing policy challenge for a full academic year.

The program is run by Melissa M. Lee, Klein Family Presidential Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, and Amy E. Gadsden, Associate Vice Provost for Global Initiatives.

A focal point of the program is a year-long policy project. As part of the fellowship program, the student fellows break into smaller teams to collaborate on a policy-relevant research project on a particular global issue they identify under faculty supervision.

In addition, regularly-scheduled seminars give the Fellows the chance to explore and analyze a range of other global issues throughout the year. An important element of the Fellowship is field learning—in Washington, D.C. and New York—where a robust agenda of meetings is arranged with key policymakers and other leaders in the global policy arena.   

Throughout their year as Fellows, the students become an increasingly integral part of Perry World House, benefiting from both informal interactions with faculty, staff and graduate students, and more formal, individualized research and career mentoring. The year culminates with a conference where students present their research findings to their Perry World House peers and colleagues. Students that complete the program are better prepared to be global citizens and ambassadors for Penn, and ready to embark on careers in international affairs. Additionally, Perry World House offers summer awards for student fellows in the form of grants to offset the costs of summer internships. 

The Perry World House Student Fellow trip to Washington D.C. allowed us to gain insight into every angle of the policy making process. From think tanks and NGOs to media outlets and the military, we engaged with each of the major players shaping our country's future on the world stage. As I try to navigate career choices post-Penn, I know that conversations from the D.C. trip will guide my decision making for some time to come.
Sarah Baer (World House Student Fellow 2017-18)
Crisis Simulation