Understanding Fellowships

What are fellowships?

Fellowships can vary widely in terms of their purpose, but broadly speaking, they are externally funded awards that provide students with a range of transformative opportunities. Some awards support research, while others promote cultural exchange. Many fellowships fund graduate study, sometimes here in the U.S. but more often abroad. Others enable you to study a foreign language or teach English in another country.

As you can see, “fellowship” is a broad term, one that NCA uses interchangeably with others such as “scholarship,” “grant,” “program,” or “award.” Any of these terms may appear in the names of the fellowships featured on the NCA website.

For all their differences, these fellowships do share something in common: they are prestigious and potentially life-changing opportunities pursued by determined students with big dreams.