Professional Fellows Program Oceania

The Professional Fellows Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Cultural Vistas.

Program Components

Pacific Fellows will participate in a tailored four-to-five week fellowship, in addition to several professional development opportunities and a Professional Fellows Congress with their program cohort. The program will conclude with follow-on projects implemented within each Fellow’s home communities.

#1 Virtual Programming

Given the wide-span geography of the Pacific, PFP Oceania will include supplemental virtual activities for Pacific Fellows prior to their U.S. fellowship. Each cohort of Pacific Fellows will participate in virtual activities to connect with other participants and prepare for traveling on the program. Virtual connection provides opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing among the Pacific Fellows.

#2 Professional Fellows Congress

All Pacific Fellow Cohorts (spring 2023, fall 2023 and spring 2024) will conclude their time in the United States by participating in the “Professional Fellows Congress” in Washington, DC. This event will bring together Professional Fellows from across the globe to share experiences, build networks, and collaboratively build tools for effective leadership.

#3 Follow-on Project

Throughout the program, each Fellow will develop an Action Plan for a follow-on project to be implemented upon their return home. Fellows will receive peer reviews on their action plan from their cohort, and build skills in project design and planning for the action plan during the program. Following the fellowship exchange, participants will be eligible to apply for a small stipend to support a follow-on project in their community.

#4 American Reciprocal Exchange

Following each Pacific Fellow Cohort’s program, American delegates who served as hosts or mentors during the U.S. fellowship programming phase, will be selected to travel to the Pacific to support some of the Pacific Fellows in the implementation of the follow-on projects. Pacific Fellows selected to host will assist in planning for their American colleagues’ visit.


Pacific Fellows


The application for 2023-2024 Pacific Fellows Cohorts is closed. All applicants will be notified in June 2023 of their final application status.


Information of future application cycles will be posted here. Please email for additional information or inquiries.

Eligibility for Pacific Fellows:

  • Citizen and Resident of: Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
  • Work Experience: Applicants must be currently employed with a minimum of two-years professional work experience.
  • Age: 25 – 40 years of age at time of participation in exchange program.
  • Follow-On Project Interest: Applicants must demonstrate an interest in developing an individual project to be implemented within their home workplace or community, related to the theme of economic empowerment.
  • J-1 Visa Eligibility: Applicants must be able to receive a J-1 Government Visitor Visa.
  • English Proficiency: Professional Fellows Program Oceania will be conducted entirely in English. All participants will be required to demonstrate written and oral proficiency of the English language.
  • Participation Commitment: Applicants must be willing to participate in the program in full, including travel to the United States (U.S.) for a 6-week exchange as well as a commitment to implement follow-on activities upon returning home. All program travel and accommodations will be covered by Cultural Vistas.

American Reciprocal Exchange


The application for Americans to participate in a reciprocal exchange in support of 2023-2024 Pacific Fellows’ follow-on project will be open in summer 2023. Please reach out to the Cultural Vistas Program Team if you are interested in additional information:

Frequently Asked Questions – PARTICIPANTS

What are the Goals of the Professional Fellows Program?

  1. Promote mutual understanding and lasting partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from the Pacific and the United States.
  2. Provide opportunities for non-U.S. and American emerging leaders to collaborate and share ideas, approaches, and strategies regarding pressing challenges.
  3. Enhance leadership and professional skills for both non-U.S. and American Fellows to encourage positive change in their workplaces and communities.
  4. Build a global network of like-minded professionals.

What can I expect from a PFP Fellowship?

The Professional Fellowship Program is a robust professional development opportunity, tailored to support the professional growth for every individual participant. Upon selection to the program, and approximately 4-5 months prior to traveling to the U.S., participants will begin working collaboratively with Cultural Vistas on their fellowship placement. Each fellowship will be tailored to each Pacific Fellows to ensure alignment with their career goals. Participation will additionally require a commitment to participate in all program components, including Pre-Program virtual activities, development of a follow-on project Action Plan, participation in the Professional Fellows Congress, and implementation of a follow-on project upon return home.

What is the Follow-on Project Requirement?

Pacific Fellows will be encouraged to bring their experience abroad back to their own networks and communities. In doing so, each participant will be required to complete a follow-on project after the conclusion of their fellowship exchange.  Each Pacific Fellow will develop an Action Plan during the program that will be peer reviewed within their cohort. This structure will allow for participants to learn more about each other’s work and to solicit feedback from their colleagues. Following the fellowship exchange, Pacific Fellows will have the opportunity to apply for a small stipend to support the implementation of their follow-on project. Examples of potential follow-on projects could include: a women’s empowerment workshop, or developing a business plan to launch an ecommerce platform.

How will Pacific Fellows be selected for participation?

Fellows will be selected through a competitive process. There will be three rounds for selection – eligibility screening, application ranking, and finalist interviews. The selection committee will take into consideration each applicant’s association with the program theme and leadership experience in the Pacific. Applicants are also encourage to demonstrate their commitment to engaging in the Professional Fellows global network.

Does PFP have a COVID-19 contingency plan?

The Professional Fellows Program Oceania is scheduled to be implemented in-person in the United States. An in-person, U.S.-based exchange is contingent upon favorable travel conditions and participants’ ability to transit among ongoing travel restrictions. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global health pandemic, PFP Oceania may be adjusted and offered as a hybrid or fully virtual program. In the event there are travel restrictions, or other factors which could adversely impact the health, safety and welfare of program participants, host organizations, and local communities, the Professional Fellows Program Oceania may postpone or pivot the planned in-person U.S.-based exchange to virtual programming. The PFP Oceania will follow available national and local public health guidance when making decisions related to proposed program activities.

What is the vaccine requirement to travel to the United States?

All participants selected as Pacific Fellows must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to the United States for the fellowship program, per the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Proof of vaccination status must be provided to Cultural Vistas at the time of selection to the  Professional Fellows Program Oceania.

Frequently Asked Questions – HOST ORGANIZATIONS

The Professional Fellows Program Oceania (PFP Oceania) a two-way, global exchange program designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance leadership and professional skills, as well as build lasting, sustainable partnerships between mid-level emerging leaders from the Pacific Islands and the United States (U.S.). The program theme focuses on economic empowerment, exploring how systems can support innovation and sustainable economic development and helping participants build their capacities in growing regional entrepreneurship, business leadership, and workforce development. Fellows are placed in intensive four-week fellowships in non-profit organizations, private sector businesses, and government offices across the U.S. for an individually tailored professional development experience. Pacific Fellows will build a broad network of contacts with American and other program participant colleagues as they develop a deeper understanding of U.S. society and enhance their professional skills while broadening their professional network within the U.S. PFP Oceania is a two-way exchange, with American participants who have hosted Pacific Fellows also traveling overseas for participant-driven reciprocal programs. 

What are the Fellow Hosting Requirements?

  • Prepare a meaningful and intentional workplan for the Fellow during the four-week fellowship, either in-person or virtually. This work should be relevant to the host organization and fellow’s background, while advancing their professional development.
  • Provide Cultural Vistas information regarding expectations for the fellowship and needs in order to ensure a mutually beneficial placement for the fellow.
  • Pacific Fellows will have a valid J-1 visa and receive a stipend from Cultural Vistas to cover their living expenses during their fellowships.
  • Select an employee “placement host” who will guide the Oceania Fellow during their fellowship (either a supervisor or manager who will connect virtually or by phone at least once before the fellowship begins).
  • Frequent and substantial engagement with PFP Fellows for the duration of their fellowship; Fellows will work full-time (32-40 hours per week).
  • Encourage opportunities for fellow to engage with host organization’s work culture and local community.
  • Provide guidance and support for the fellow’s prospective follow-on project that is to be implemented in their home community or organization.

Is there financial support for this opportunity?

The fellowship is an unpaid professional development opportunity. Fellows will already have a valid J-1 visa and will receive a stipend from Cultural Vistas to cover their living expenses during the fellowship. Host organizations are expected to supply the fellows with the technical support and equipment needed to actively engage with colleagues and successfully complete their workplan.  

Will the host organization be able to interview the potential fellow(s) directly?

Cultural Vistas will work directly with each Pacific Fellow cohort to identify fellowship placements. Each fellowship will be tailored to each Pacific Fellows to ensure alignment with their career goals. Host organizations will not be able to meet/interview Pacific Fellows directly however, Cultural Vistas will arrange these placements on behalf of the participant. As a result, thorough communication of the available roles and expectations for the fellowships will be necessary to ensure a positive placement experience.  

Do the organizations have to be located in a particular location?

Host organizations can be located anywhere in the United States. Eligible organizations can have a physical, virtual, or hybrid work environment, however it is expected that PFP fellows will have frequent and substantial engagement with colleagues at the host organization. Hosts will also be expected to help the fellow become acquainted and involved in local activities/events in the fellowship location.  

When does the PFP Oceania fellowship take place?

Cohort 2 of the 2022-2023 PFP Oceania program will participate in U.S. based fellowships between April 27 – June 9, 2023.

Cohort 1 for the 2023-2024 PFP Oceania program will participate in U.S. based fellowships between September 6 – October 4, 2023.

What does the application process look like for American hosts wanting to help implement the follow-on projects in the Pacific?

The application for American Fellows will be provided to host organizations following each Cohort round. Please monitor the PFP Oceania website or contact if you have any questions about the application requirements or timeline and we can assist.   

What types of logistical support will the host organization be responsible for providing for the fellowship?

Host organizations will be responsible for: 

  • Assigning an employee to serve as a primary “Placement Host” who will support the Fellow during the fellowship 
  • Prepare a meaningful and intentional workplan for the Fellow to contribute to during the four-week fellowship, either in-person or virtually. This work should be relevant to the host organization and fellow’s background, while advancing their professional development. 
  • Coordinate engagement opportunities for the fellow to interact with fellow employees and the local community where they are hosted 
  • Provide guidance and support for the fellow’s prospective follow-on project 
  • Physical and virtual technical support (laptops, any other necessary equipment) in order for fellows to complete their assigned tasks/projects and engage with colleagues at the host organization 

What is the responsibility of the host organization if the program switches to a virtual format?

Should the program pivot to a virtual format, host organizations will be responsible for communicating with the fellow to ensure they are engaged in the program, whether the work is in a virtual or in-person format.  

Can a host organization host a fellow for a single cohort or do you have to host fellows for multiple cohorts?

Host organizations are allowed to host for a single cohort or multiple cohorts, as long as there are candidates in each cohort that match the focus and industry of the organization. The fellowships are meant to be individually tailored professional experiences and the Pacific Fellows will have various backgrounds and professional interests that may not be well suited for each organization. If your organization is interested in hosting multiple fellows, please contact our team and we can confirm what opportunities may be available for consecutive fellowships.

What demographic and professional background will Pacific Fellows have?

Pacific Fellows have diverse backgrounds with career fields ranging from education to information communication technology to conservation policy. Fellows will be paired with host organizations based on their intended follow-on projects and professional goals. Please review the section regarding Eligibility for Pacific Fellows to learn more about the minimum criteria all applicants must meet in order to be selected as a participant in the program. 


For questions regarding the Professional Fellows Program Oceania, please contact the Cultural Vistas Program Team at

Supported by

The Professional Fellows Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by Cultural Vistas.