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FAQs

Q. Why should I participate in the Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance?

A. The Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance in Geneva is the only program of its kind. 

Through summer internships and an intensive, one-week course, our fellows gain unparalleled access to UN agencies and leading Geneva-based institutions. Internships in Geneva are highly competitive. Our fellows benefit from Duke’s well-regarded reputation and wide network to secure the best internships possible. While fellows are ultimately responsible for securing their own internships, they will receive individualized assistance and have access to Duke’s deep organizational contacts.

The one-week intensive course is designed to complement students’ internships. Throughout the course week, students participate in lectures and seminars, visit leading international institutions, case studies, and network with top experts in their field.

In addition to the internship and course-week, fellows are a part of a vibrant community of students and are encouraged to participate in social and networking events held throughout the summer. Ultimately, our participants return from their summer in Geneva with a wide range of networks and contacts to help them jump start their international careers.

Q. Why Geneva?

A. Located on beautiful Lake Geneva in the heart of Western Europe, Geneva is the best place in the world to explore public policy and international affairs. It is home to the United Nations headquarters as well as 200 government missions, and over 300 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). For students interested in a career in public policy or international affairs, Geneva is an essential destination.

Q. Who should apply?

A. The Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance is open to graduate  and professional students from around the world. Program fellows do not have to be Duke students to participate in the program. Fellows come from diverse graduate programs -- public policy, international relations, business, medicine, law and others -- and from universities around the world including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia University, Singapore Management University, University of Toronto, and many others. 

Please note that while the program is intended for graduate and professional students, we do accept a limited number of outstanding undergraduate students. Undergraduate students must be rising seniors at the time of participation, and should have exceptional experience interning and/or living abroad to be considered.

Q. What characteristics do our applicants share?

A. Our fellows hail from a variety of academic backgrounds. However, they are united by their commitment to their chosen area of global policy and by their demonstration of academic and/or professional excellence. Most of our fellows have previous experience living abroad, either through their studies, work, or personal travel. Fluency in a second language, while not required, will strengthen an application.

Q. What if I do not speak French?

A. That's not a problem. Classes are taught in English, and there are plenty of English-speaking internship opportunities in Geneva. A basic knowledge of French is advantageous but not required.

Q. Where will I stay in Geneva?

A. Fellows are required to arrange their own housing. The program will also provide suggestions and resources for students who wish to look for their own housing. In these cases, students can expect to pay $800-$1200 month for sublets or rooms in foyers. Foyers are a cross between hostels and hotels and typically house interns and students from all over the world.

Q. How do I secure an internship in Geneva?

A. The Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance offers students unparalleled access to Geneva-based institutions and outstanding opportunities for career advancement. Although fellows are responsible for securing their own internships, the program uses its reputation and extensive network of contacts to assist students in obtaining internships.

Program staff work with accepted program fellows to define internship goals, review cover letters, resumes and writing samples, facilitate application submission, and advise and prepare fellows for their internships. The program also supports internship applications by meeting with potential host organizations to advocate on students behalf and find the best internships possible.

Q. What if I don’t get an internship?

A. Since the Geneva Program was founded 16 years ago, all of our participants have received internships from organizations they were excited to accept. Our staff will work closely with you to ensure you find the best internship possible.

Q. How much does the program cost? Is there any financial assistance available?

A. The program fee is $3,125 for non-Duke students. For Duke students, the program fee is $2,100. If you are accepted into the program, a $500 nonrefundable deposit is due by January 11, 2017. The remaining fee is due by April 10, 2017. If you are a Duke Sanford MPP student, please contact us for information about program fellowships. Please note that the program fee does not cover housing, airfare, visa fees and other living expenses. The Duke Program on Global Policy and Governance cannot provide partial or full scholarships for fellows. Each fellow is responsible for paying program fees, room and board, airfare, visa fees and other living expenses. Students should inquire with their home institutions, programs, or sponsors for potential support early in the year. We encourage you to explore this list of external funding sources for international education opportunities.

Q. What is an estimate for individual expenses beyond the program fee?

A. The actual amount a student should expect to pay depends upon length of stay, fluctuations in exchange rates and airfare, and personal preferences. However, below is a best estimate for a student that spends 3 months in Geneva:

  • Airfare:  $1400 (could be as low as $1100 or as high as $1700)
  • Housing: $3000 (this is an estimate, housing typically costs between $800-$1200 per month)
  • Food: $1000
  • Other expenses (transportation, travel, etc): $2000 - varies greatly depending on individual desire to travel outside of Geneva.  This is a high-estimate.

Total: $7,400

Q. Can my spouse and/ or family accompany me while I participate in the program?

A. Yes, a handful of students every year bring spouses and sometimes children with them.  However, we ask that students are aware of the hectic schedule required during the internship and especially during the course week.  Additionally, students with families may need to look for their own housing, with the assistance of program staff.

Q. What are the dates for the 2017 program?

A. The program will take place from May 15 – August 31, 2017. Fellows will have the option of choosing when to start and end an internship during this time, depending on the needs of the host institution and the fellow’s academic calendar. However, we suggest students participate in 12-week long internships to facilitate their visa process and to take full advantage of everything the program has to offer. Fellows must participate in the course week from June 26 - June 30.

Global Health Fellows should commit to a minimum of 8 continuous weeks, including participation in the “Health Policy in a Globalizing World” course (7 weeks for the internship, 1 week for the course). Fellows from the other three tracks should commit to a minimum of 11 continuous weeks including the course week (10 weeks for the internship, 1 week for the course).  

All courses and most program events will take place during the months of June and July. Fellows are encouraged to arrive in Geneva at the beginning of June in order to participate in orientation. 

Q. How can I contact program staff with further questions or concerns? 

Don't hesitate to contact us via email (geneva@duke.edu) or by calling (919) 613-9289.

Our staff includes:

Sarah Burrichter | Sr. Program Coordinator: Overseas application process, pre-departure preparation, internship placements, in-country programming, NGO outreach and partnership development.

Annalisa Kristoffersen | Staff Assistant for International and Academic Programs: Manages the application process, provides guidance on visa regulations, reviews resumes and cover letters, and generally supports students with their pre-departure needs.

Sarah Thelen | International Programs Graduate Assistant: Assists in all aspects of program logistics and program advising