Experience: Mid-career professionals
About Atlas Corps:
Atlas Corps seeks mid career professionals from around the world to apply for Fellowships in the United States. Atlas Corps engages leaders committed to social change in 12-18 month, professional fellowships at organizations to learn best practices, build organizational capacity, and return home to create a network of global leaders. Fellows serve at Host Organizations working on issues that complement their expertise. This prestigious fellowship includes a living stipend to cover basic expenses (food, local transportation, and shared housing), an international flight, and health insurance.
All applicants must be aged 22-35 and must have 2-10 years of relevant experience in the nonprofit/social sector, a bachelor's degree or equivalent, English proficiency, commitment to return to your home country after the fellowship.
How to Apply:
Applications are accepted year-round. For more details about eligibility requirements and the application process, please visit https://atlascorps.org/apply-united-states/.
When does the program begin?
The U.S. Fellowship begins every three months. In 2019, Fellowships will start in January, April, July, and October. Each Fellowship begins with a one-week orientation program.
When does the program end?
Most Fellowships end 12 months after they begin. In rare cases related to certain Atlas Corps Special Initiatives such as the Atlas Corps TIMEP Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellowship, Fellows may do a six-month Fellowship. Fellows and Host Organizations may choose to extend the Fellowship, up to a total Fellowship length of 18 months. Fellows must return to their home countries immediately after the program ends.
What does the Fellowship provide?
Fellows – but not their dependents – receive:
♦ Program-related international travel
♦ Program-related domestic travel
♦ Basic health insurance that covers new injuries and illnesses
♦ Monthly stipend for basic living expenses (shared housing, food, local transportation, and a phone plan)
♦ Documentation (DS-2019) that enables the Fellow to obtain a J-1 visa.
♦ Placement at a Host Organization
♦ Participation in the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab (leadership development training series)
Does Atlas Corps provide housing?
Atlas Corps does not secure housing directly for Fellows in most cases and instead provides Fellows with the resources necessary to help them secure their own housing. While we do hold some housing in Washington, D.C., those spaces are available on a first come, first serve basis, and not all DC Fellows will receive a room. Once accepted to the Fellowship, the Atlas Corps staff will help guide Fellows through the process of finding temporary and permanent housing. Atlas Corps provides a relocation stipend for Fellows in Satellite Cities outside of D.C. based on the cost of living. Atlas Corps has also recently partnered with a homestay program that provides optional temporary housing for Satellite Fellows. All Fellows are guaranteed housing for the first week of Orientation.
What is the Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab?
The Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab comprises of more than 200 hours of experiential learning that is both theoretical and practical. At three, four-day training immersions convened over the course of the 12-month Fellowship in January, May, and September, Fellows participate in presentations and workshops led by innovative social change leaders who share practical strategies for social impact, as well as their own professional journeys. This professional development series intentionally combines hard skills like business planning and proposal writing with intensive workshops that explore critical soft skills like conflict resolution and leadership.
Helping develop the ability to see a better future, inspire others and implement innovative ideas requires a unique combination of awareness, knowledge, skill, and experience. Atlas Corps Global Leadership Lab complements the Host Organization experience with the opportunity to develop competencies in four key areas essential for the next generation of global changemakers. These core competencies are interwoven with an exploration of foundational skills of nonprofit leadership.
How do you determine the living stipend?
The amount of the living stipend is fixed and is determined through an assessment of the cost of shared housing, transportation, a phone plan and food in each city. The Atlas Corps stipend is typically 15% higher than the stipend received by participants in U.S. national service programs. Stipends do increase over time to keep up with changes in the cost of living in each city. Here are the monthly stipend amounts by the city as of November 2018. (The cost of the phone plan is automatically deducted from the following stipend amounts each month.)
♦ Boston: $1,853
♦ Chicago: $1,638
♦ New York: $1,674
♦ San Francisco: $2,126
♦ Washington, DC: $1,638
What does the stipend cover?
As volunteers, Fellows receive a modest living stipend intended to cover only shared housing, food, and local public transportation. Atlas Corps also provides all incoming Atlas Corps Fellows with a SIM card and phone plan. The stipend is not intended to cover expenses you may have in your home country; eating out at restaurants; buying new clothes; or emergencies. While Fellows are able to keep their basic expenses (food, shared housing and local transportation) within the allotted stipend, many choose to bring additional funds for personal items, such as clothing, travel, or entertainment.
Monthly budgets vary from city to city, but the monthly living budget for a Fellow in Washington, DC, is as follows:
♦ Rent & Utilities: $950
♦ Transportation: $150
♦ Phone Plan: $28
♦ Food: $400
♦ Other small necessities: $110
How much money should I bring with me?
Once Fellows arrive in the U․S․, we require that they deposit a minimum of $500, ideally more, into their U.S. bank accounts to help prepare them for expenses during the year that may not be covered by their stipend․ These expenses could include the security deposit on an apartment, furniture, clothing for cold weather, or medical expenses that are not covered by health insurance. A recent survey of Fellows suggested that incoming Fellows try to bring between $500 and $1,000 with you to meet common expenses that come up during the year that are not covered by the stipend. We only require that Fellows bring $500, but we are suggesting that Fellows try to bring as much as $1,000 with you if they can.
What kind of visa do I get?
Atlas Corps provides documentation to secure a J-1, Exchange Visitor visa (trainee designation).
What kind of issues or projects do Fellows work on?
Our Fellows work on a broad range of social issues, from education to the environment to human rights, and so on. The Fellow’s role at his or her Host Organization varies greatly from organization to organization. For some examples of what our current Fellows are doing at their Host Organizations, check out their biographies here.
Can I bring my family with me?
Atlas Corps discourages Fellows from bringing family members with them to the United States. Family members may visit the Fellow provided it does not interfere with work and fellowship responsibilities. Family members should not travel to the United States until the Fellow is well established in the Host organization. Atlas Corps does NOT provide financial support or visa sponsorship or documentation for spouses or other family members, and the living stipend and health insurance are only intended for one person. The Fellow is responsible for all costs incurred for and by family members, including the cost of securing a visa. Atlas Corps does not sponsor J-2 visas (non-immigrant visas). Most family members who visit Fellows in the U.S do so on a B-2 (visitor) visa since Atlas Corps is unable to provide documentation to secure a J-2 visa.
After the Fellowship, do I have to leave the United States?
Yes. One of the primary goals of Atlas Corps is to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices between social change leaders in the U.S. and in other countries. This exchange is completed once a Fellow returns home and is able to share and apply what he or she has learned. Fellows are expected to return to their country at the end of their Fellowship; typically this is for two years unless stated differently on the visa. The one-year requirement is an Atlas Corps requirement. Fellows are required to leave the U.S. within 30 days of the program ends. Fellows may not come to the United States to participate in the Fellowship and remain in the United States after the Fellowship has ended. Program participants are expected to fulfill not only the terms and conditions of the Fellowship but also the home residency requirement directly upon completion of the Fellowship.