Global Symposium Student Fellows

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016 Global Symposium Student Fellow program!

In its exciting eighth year, the Global Symposium will travel, for the first time, to Europe. On March 18, 2016, Barnard College will gather together in Paris, France, a group of prominent leaders from throughout the region, to discuss some of the current events and rapidly changing policies that are influencing women’s roles across Europe, both in and out of the workplace.

The Global Symposium Student Fellows program has three major components: (1) Fellows play an important part in the preparations for, and promotion of, the annual Global Symposium; (2) Fellows develop and facilitate, with guidance from the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, a workshop on leadership for high school girls, to be held both on our campus and in Paris; and (3) Fellows attend the Global Symposium and related events and provide logistical support for the event. Fellows will also help develop ways to continue the conversations that develop at the Global Symposium and to share them with the greater Barnard community on campus.

The Global Symposium Student Fellows program is open to current sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are on campus for the full 2015-2016 academic year. Six student fellows will be selected to participate.

For more information about becoming a Student Fellow, including application instructions, continue down the page to the Frequently Asked Questions. Please also visit the Global Symposium table in the Diana center during the week of September 21st.


In the videos below, students share their experiences as Global Symposium Fellows, including trips to Paris, Mumbai, Rio De Janeiro and São Paolo, as well as the Young Women's Leadership workshop:





Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply?

Current Barnard sophomores, juniors, and seniors may apply. Fellows must be on campus for the full 2015-2016 academic year.

What are you looking for in an applicant?

The committee will look for demonstrated interest in the region, leadership development, women’s issues, or other relevant areas. It may also be helpful to have experience in public speaking, event planning, or leadership positions. Students must be in good academic standing, and should have strong time management skills.

What responsibilities do Fellows have?

Global Symposium Student Fellows will have the opportunity to do the following:

(1)    From the time of selection in late October up until the week of Spring Break,

  • assist in preparations for, and promotion of, the 2016 Global Symposium;
  • prepare, with guidance from the Athena Center for Leadership Studies, a workshop on leadership and global engagement for high school students; and
  • conduct the workshop on leadership and global engagement with high school students from local high schools in the Barnard neighborhood.

(2)    During the week of Spring Break in March 2016,

  • conduct the workshop on leadership and global engagement with high school students in the selected city;
  • explore through activities and discussions with faculty, staff, and students a topic related to the Global Symposium;
  • provide logistical support for all Global Symposium programs throughout the week;
  • interact with and provide assistance to special guests of the College participating in the Global Symposium;
  • attend all events related to the Global Symposium; and
  • participate in a celebratory event with Barnard students and alumnae.

What is the time commitment?

Fellows are expected to meet three times during the fall semester and weekly during the spring semester. Selected Student Fellows must be available to meet every week during the spring semester (day and time to be announced). This meeting time is not optional; it is a requirement for participation in the Student Fellows program. Fellows are expected to commit an average of 5-10 hours per week to work related to the Symposium and to spend the majority of their spring break in Paris, France.

What does the fellowship include in terms of compensation and/or experiential rewards?

Student Fellows will have the opportunity to interact with women leaders from around the world at the Global Symposium; will develop skills in collaboration, presentation, event-planning, and cross-cultural communication; and will have a profound learning experience abroad with Barnard faculty and staff. Student Fellows will be awarded will be awarded the cost of round-trip airfare to Paris, four nights in a double hotel room with another Student Fellow, and related meals, ground transportation and planned activities. Any visa or vaccination costs will also be covered. Please note that students will not receive any academic credit or monetary compensation for their work.

How to Apply

Submit the following by Monday, October 5 (two-step process):

(1) Complete and submit the online application form: Online application

  • Be sure to print a copy of your application or, better yet, click "send me a copy of my responses" before submitting the form to have the completed form sent to you by email. You will need to provide a copy of the completed form with your emailed materials (see step 2 below).
  • The online application will ask for the name and email address of a Barnard or Columbia faculty member who has agreed to serve as a reference for you. The faculty member is not required to submit any written recommendation for you at this time; we will contact the faculty member if further information is needed. You may also choose to note the name and email address of a second reference, who may be a faculty member or a staff member at Barnard or Columbia, but the second reference is not required.

(2) Submit the following application materials by email to

  • A copy of your completed online application.
  • A copy of your current unofficial Barnard transcript.
  • A copy of your current resume.
  • Statement 1 (double-spaced, 1-2 pages): Discuss a women’s issue of particular concern for women in France, and suggest a series of questions about the issue that you would want to explore if you were to become a Student Fellow.  
  • Statement 2 (double-spaced, 1-2 pages): Choose three sites or spaces in Paris that have particular cultural and/or historical significance, and argue for the ways in which these places teach visitors something particular about the status of women, women’s rights, and women’s issues in Paris. Be sure your argument provides an explanation of your choices and the significance of each cultural/historical marker.

 * Please remember that your application will not be considered complete until both steps above have been completed.

Does my reference have to be a faculty member? My TA/supervisor/Dean knows me so much better!

Yes, your first reference must be a faculty member, but you may note one additional reference if you like. Note, however, that recommendations may NOT come from a class dean.

When will I find out if I’ve been selected?

All student applications will be considered by a selection committee, and a smaller number of students will be invited for interviews during the week of October 19. Selected Student Fellows will be notified of the decision by the end of October. The first meeting of the fall semester will be Monday, November 9.

Application deadline: Monday, October 5th.

If you have specific questions, email