Cultural Vistas Fellowship Announces 2016 Class

Nationally competitive fellowship will send 12 U.S. students to explore entrepreneurship and innovation during summer internships abroad in Argentina, Germany, and India.

NEW YORK – More than 90% of U.S. students graduate without an international experience, such as studying or interning abroad. Even fewer are members of minority communities or first-generation students.

To increase diversity and create more opportunities for Americans to go abroad, the nationally-competitive Cultural Vistas Fellowship will provide 12 U.S. university students fully-funded eight-week summer internship and immersion experiences in Argentina, Germany, and India.

The initiative, which was recently cited among GoAbroad’s most innovative new internship programs, is funded directly by Cultural Vistas as part of its commitment to afford more Americans opportunities for formative international experiences.

The Cultural Vistas Fellowship aims to provide American students from groups historically underrepresented in international programs with the unique opportunity to advance their career goals, develop global competencies, and experience life in another culture.

Now in its fourth year, Cultural Vistas is pleased to announce the selection of the 2016 class of Cultural Vistas Fellows. This year’s fellows and their internship programs this summer will focus on entrepreneurship and innovation.

“I hope to immerse myself in order to understand how entrepreneurship and innovation are essential for NGOs,” said 2016 Cultural Vistas Fellow Cynthia Rann.

Since 2013, the Cultural Vistas Fellowship has funded programs for more than 40 students majoring in more than 25 different fields from 34 universities across the country.

“During my time in India, I not only gained important professional experience in the medical field, but I was challenged to grow and become more independent,” said Mary Nguyen, 2015 Cultural Vistas Fellow. “My summer in Bangalore gave me the chance to explore to truly engage and consider with my identity as a Vietnamese-American and the privilege of being an American abroad.”

Last month, the fellows began a virtual learning component of the program to prepare for their time abroad, discuss relevant issues in their host countries, and to learn about each other. The group will convene in New York City on May 31 for an orientation prior to traveling overseas. The fellows will split into three groups, spending June and July living and interning in Buenos Aires, Berlin, or Bangalore.

Upon returning to the United States, the fellows will take part in a reentry seminar in New York City to reflect on their time abroad. They will develop “Fellows in Service” projects that will share knowledge they gained while abroad with their respective campuses and local communities during the Fall 2016 semester.

The 2016 class of Cultural Vistas Fellows includes rising juniors and seniors from twelve institutions across the United States. The fellowship covers all program-related transportation, accommodations, support services, emergency medical coverage, and internship placements.

The 2016 Cultural Vistas Fellows are:


Saakib Akbany
Diamond Bar, CA
University of California, San Diego
Environmental Engineering

Cruz Aleman
Portage, MI
Ball State University
Dietary Science

Alexis McKenney
Marietta, GA
Howard University
Political Science

Anna Flores
Phoenix, AZ
Arizona State University
English Literature, Pre-Law


Ethan Klein
Wausau, WI
Michigan Tech University
Mechanical Engineering

Julia Ossemi-Seied
Katy, TX
University of Houston
Political Science

Megan McConnell
Fort Worth, TX
Pennsylvania State University, Erie
International Relations

Fidel Estrada
Sioux City, IA
University of Iowa
International Studies, Geography


Isabel Lamb
Tallahassee, FL
Florida State University
Chemical Engineering

Cynthia Rann
Philadelphia, PA
Albright College
International Business

Brenda Vasquez
Berkeley, CA
California State University, Long Beach

Molly Wu
Houston, TX
Colby College
Environmental Science

For more information on the Cultural Vistas Fellowship, visit and follow #CVFellows16

About Cultural Vistas
Founded in 1963, Cultural Vistas is a nonprofit exchange organization promoting global understanding and collaboration among individuals and institutions. We develop international professional experiences that create more informed, skilled, and engaged citizens. Our programs empower people to drive positive change in themselves, their organizations, and society. Cultural Vistas is headquartered in New York with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Berlin. Learn more at

Follow @CulturalVistas on Twitter