The mission of the Yale World Fellows Program is to cultivate and empower a community of globally engaged leaders committed to positive change through cross-disciplinary dialogue and action.
The Yale World Fellows Program has three core goals:
The Program provides emerging leaders with an exceptional opportunity to enrich themselves by enhancing their critical thinking skills, learning all they can about cutting-edge issues, and developing a strategic vision for their own professional trajectories and societal impacts. In their special global-issues seminar – the World Fellows Seminar, which is taught in short modules by Yale's top faculty – they explore such topics as war and peace, international relations, economic development, public health, corruption, environmental change, justice, identity, and the role of religion in public life. In addition to the World Fellows Seminar, each Fellow has the opportunity to take almost any course offered by Yale and is offered a series of workshops on skill building, covering such topics as public speaking, writing, decision-making, and negotiation strategies. The Program also sponsors a Distinguished Speaker Series – on campus, in New York, and in Washington.
The World Fellows are also expected to enhance the international dialogue on campus and help deepen the understanding of the entire Yale community about the complexity and diversity of the world. They serve as informal teachers and mentors to Yale's students, guest lecture in classes, talk to student and faculty interest groups, give campus-wide lectures, and contribute to informal learning in the dining halls, courtyards, and corridors for which Yale is famous.
Finally, the Program seeks to build a network of global decision makers who have a fundamental, mutual understanding born of common experience and information. The model naturally fosters collaboration and a commitment to shared success. With a network that grows larger and more varied with each passing year, alumni Fellows are encouraged to build relationships not only with those in their own cohort but also with those in previous or successive years. To this end, Yale organizes a biennial “Return to Yale Forum” for all alumni of the Program, ensuring that the network remains robust and supports fresh thinking.
Once the semester officially begins, Fellows become engaged in a vast array of activities, some of which recur on a weekly basis and some of which are ad hoc. Regular, weekly activities include the World Fellows Seminar, skill-building sessions, weekly panel discussions (the Hot Coffee, Hot Issues series), and Monday night dinners with distinguished speakers. For more detail on all of these, please visit Curriculum. Fellows also take individually selected, semester-long courses – dependent entirely on each Fellow's specific interests – that meet regularly each week.
Assisted by Program staff, Fellows are expected to build an on-campus network of faculty and student relationships that lead to frequent speaking engagements, both formal and informal. Each Fellow is affiliated with one or more of the MacMillan Center Councils and is encouraged to work with them to identify speaking opportunities and other modes of cooperation. Each Fellow is affiliated with an undergraduate residential College and assigned two undergraduate Student Liaisons and two graduate-level Student Affiliates, and is expected to find ways to share his or her experiences with as many students as possible.
Furthermore, the Program organizes and sponsors multi-day trips to New York and Washington for the Fellows each fall for meetings with key representatives of business, government, foundations, the media, international organizations, the diplomatic community, and University alumni. In keeping with the aims and mission of the Program, these trips serve to enrich the Fellows' understanding of US and international institutions, inspire dialogue on critical global issues, create networking opportunities, and expand the reach of the Program's institutional relationships.
Fellows maintain a very busy and engaged schedule during their time at Yale. Nonetheless, most Fellows find that the social aspect of the Program is one of the most rewarding. Many Fellows form fast friendships with one another, with Yale students, faculty, and alumni, and with Program staff, and it is the Program's hope that these friendships become not just long-lasting and personally meaningful but also mutually beneficial and productive.
To this end, the Program actively encourages alumni Fellows to work together on long-term, collaborative projects that address issues of critical international relevance, and launched, in 2008, the Action Grant program. Action Grants support projects for which World Fellow alumni collaboration and expertise are integral and to which the Fellows' leadership training can be applied. The intent is to catalyze constructive change with regard to global problems while promoting meaningful, creative cooperation within the Yale World Fellows network.In addition to underwriting all program and educational costs, Yale provides Fellows with housing and a travel allowance, as well as a generous stipend to cover living expenses. The World Fellows Program assists in making appropriate arrangements for Fellows who are joined in New Haven by a spouse or dependent minors for the duration of the Program.