Obama Foundation Scholars Program For International Students 2023

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program will provide opportunities for rising leaders from the United States and throughout the world who are currently making a difference in their communities to advance their work.

This is accomplished through an intensive programme that combines academic, skill-based, and hands-on learning.

The Scholars programme at Columbia University and the University of Chicago provides individuals with a demonstrated commitment to service with the tools they need to increase the effectiveness of their efforts, identify innovative solutions to complex global problems, and promote change through values-based leadership.

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The programme will foster long-term partnerships among young leaders who are committed to working together to address the most serious issues of our day, resulting in the formation of a global network that spans issues and countries.
Obama Foundation Scholars who complete the programme will:

  • Return to their global issue of focus and put their personalised action plan into action to accelerate positive change in their neighbourhood.
  • Have the chance to contribute to the Obama Foundation’s work to inspire, empower, and connect rising leaders from around the world.
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Requirements of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program 

The Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University seeks rising leaders from the United States and around the world who meet the following criteria:

  • Are emerging leaders who have made meaningful contributions to their field and are now at a “breakthrough moment” in their careers.
  • Have a proven commitment to service and leadership within a community, region or country, coupled with a demonstrated commitment to return to these communities following their completion of the program and apply their enhanced training, skills, and connections on a long-term basis for the benefit of these communities.
  • Are fluent in English (verbal, written and spoken).
  • Have the ability and inclination to positively shape the future of their community.
  • Have a demonstrated commitment to inclusivity, community orientation, hope, courage, imagination, strategy, accountability, integrity and resilience.

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Scholarship Duration and Benefits

  • Monthly stipend to assist with living expenses in New York City
  • A furnished studio apartment within walking distance of Columbia University, if the program is able to convene in person
  • All tuition and fees for up to four courses at Columbia University
  • Basic medical, dental and life insurance for the duration of the program in New York City, if the program is able to convene in person
  • Air travel to and from home country and any program-related activities, if the program is able to convene in person


The Obama Foundation offers a robust curriculum of leadership development, training, networking activities, and customized support throughout the academic year to help the Obama Scholars gain the real-world skills, tools, and experiences they need to expand the impact of their work when they return home. These experiences allow Scholars to gain insights from high-level leaders across sectors and from the wealth of knowledge across the network of Obama Foundation program participants while planning the way they’d like to reinvest their new skills, networks, and knowledge after they graduate from the program.

Foundation-led activities include both cohorts of Scholars, based at UChicago and Columbia, with the aim of creating a broader global community of practice for shared learning to both inform Scholars’ approaches to their own work and accelerate that work as they return to their communities after graduation. Each cohort’s experience is tailored to tap into the rich research ecosystems of these two world-class institutions and the cities where they are based, providing unique and immersive learning opportunities for Scholars in Chicago and New York City.

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How To Apply For Obama Foundation Scholars Program For International Students 2023

Interested and qualified applicants should apply using the link below.


Deadline: January 19, 2023

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