Frequently Asked Questions


Who, exactly, is eligible for PiAf?

Young alumni and graduating seniors from any college or university accredited in the United States are eligible to apply. Prior experience in Africa is not a prerequisite.

How do I know if my school is accredited in the United States?

Most universities or colleges located in the United States are accredited by a U.S accrediting agency. For universities and colleges not located in the U.S., we recommend checking the accrediting agencies databases to see if your college or university has received accreditation from a U.S. accrediting agency. More information on accreditation can be found here.

Is PiAf really open to students who graduated from other colleges and universities? It seems that many current and past Fellows graduated from Princeton.

Yes, PiAf is really, truly open to students from other schools! Many current and past Fellows are graduates of Princeton because our application process has only been open to students and alumni of other colleges and universities since 2010.

So what chance do I have of getting in if I’m not a Princeton graduate? Are a certain number of spots “reserved” for Princeton alumni?

We are unable to quantify an applicant’s chances, and we do not have quotas or other systems in place. Please note that at the end of the day, we are looking to make the best matches between our applicants and our fellowship organizations in the field. PiAf must take into consideration candidates’ skills, backgrounds, and preferences as well as our fellowship organizations’ needs. Hence, your abilities and interests will play a larger role than your alma mater in determining if you move forward in PiAf’s review process.

Are graduate students or those who completed their undergraduate education some time ago eligible to apply? If so, are they at a disadvantage in the selection process?

Yes, graduate students may also apply as long as they are also recent graduates of colleges or universities accredited in the United States. Completing a graduate program and/or working for a few years does not make an applicant ineligible or less desirable for our program. Our fellowship organizations play a major role in the decision-making process when it comes time to select Fellows. An applicant who has worked or studied in a certain field for a couple of years and wants more experience on the ground may be just what certain organizations are looking for!

Please note, however, that our fellowship positions are entry-level placements and we don’t want Fellows to find the work they do during their fellowships unstimulating or unchallenging. In the end, our placement process is about fitting the right candidate with the right organization so we don’t have a 100% hard and fast rule about how much experience a Fellow should have.

In a nutshell, our fellowship organizations are seeking mature, energetic, resilient applicants who are serious about their commitment to the PiAf program and to adding value to the work of these organizations.


I am an American citizen, but the college/university I attend(ed) is not accredited in the United States. May I apply?

No. At this time, PiAf is open only to young alumni and graduating seniors from colleges and universities accredited in the United States.

I am an international student (not an American citizen) but I recently graduated from a college or university accredited in the United States. May I apply?

Yes. International students who have recently graduated from a college or university accredited in the US may apply. Note that PiAf cannot help with or advise on any visa or legal issues related to participating in our fellowship program.

The Application

What is the deadline? Do my materials have to be received by the deadline or postmarked by the deadline?

The deadline for the 2018-19 fellowship application is Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 11:59pm EDT. All application materials must be received by the deadline. Please take into account mail delivery schedules and PiAf office hours when mailing/dropping off application materials. Any materials mailed to our office should be postmarked by Saturday, October 28, 2017. Your letter of recommendation must be submitted by your recommender using our LOR form ( before the online deadline (11:59PM EDT on Sunday, October 29, 2017).

Please understand that due to the volume of materials received, it is impossible for PiAf to confirm the receipt of mailed application materials. Please do not call PiAf’s office asking for confirmation that your materials have arrived.  Use the tracking systems offered by the USPS, FedEx, and other delivery services to ensure the delivery of your materials.

The application instructions say that I have to submit an online application and upload supplemental documentation to this application. What must be uploaded? What should be mailed or emailed?

The 2018-19 fellowship application must be completed online. This online application allows PiAf staff to efficiently organize and process applicants’ vital information and application materials.

–In order to submit the completed application form you are required to upload a current resume. Resumes should be uploaded in PDF format and should not exceed 2 pages. Please be sure to include your email address on your resume. (File size limit is 256KB.)
–In order to submit the completed application form you are required to upload a current color photo of you ALONE. (Photos should be in .JPEG format and file size limit is 256KB.)
–In order to submit the completed application form you are required to upload an UNOFFICIAL copy of your transcript(s). (Transcripts should be in .PDF format and file size limit is 256KB.)


–Your application will not be complete until you submit an official transcript from each undergraduate/graduate university you have attended. You must obtain an OFFICIAL transcript in a signed and sealed envelope from your registrar’s office and mail it to the Princeton in Africa office so that it is postmarked by Saturday, October 28, 2017. If your school has a system for submitting electronic copies of official transcripts you may have your registrar’s office email an OFFICIAL copy of your transcript to
–Your application will not be complete until Princeton in Africa receives your letter of recommendation (LOR) from your recommender. Please have your recommender complete the The LOR form to submit your letter of recommendation. Ask him or her to name the file (your) “Lastname.Firstname.LOR”. This recommendation should be specific to your application for Princeton in Africa and the recommender’s name, title, organization, email, phone and address should be included in the letter. The maximum length is two pages and the file should be in .PDF or Word Doc format and must be written in English. (File size limit of 256 KB)
–There is also a required application fee of US $50.00. You can pay the fee either by check or by PayPal. If paying by check, please make the check payable to Princeton in Africa and include the applicant’s name in the subject line of the check. Mail your check (postmarked by Saturday, October 28, 2017) to: Princeton in Africa—Applications, Louis A. Simpson International Building, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. If paying by PayPal, the PayPal payment link will be included in the instructions when completing the fellowship application; online payment should be submitted by 11:59PM EDT on Sunday, October 29th.

Is there an application fee? How do I pay it?

There is a required application fee of US $50.00. You can pay the fee either by check or by PayPal. If paying by check, please make the check payable to Princeton in Africa and include the applicant’s name in the subject line of the check. Mail your check (postmarked by Saturday, October 28, 2017) to: Princeton in Africa—Applications, Louis A. Simpson International Building, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. If paying by PayPal, the PayPal payment link will be included in the instructions when completing the fellowship application; online payment should be submitted by 11:59PM EDT on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

Can I mail my application materials separately or do they all have to come together in one packet?

Your materials may be mailed separately. We do, however, appreciate application materials that arrive together in the same packet!

Where should I send any mailed application materials (i.e. official transcript or check)?

Please direct any mailed application materials to the following address:

Princeton in Africa—Applications
Louis A. Simpson International Building
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Please note the above address is the full address of Princeton in Africa–there is no street number.

If you would like to drop off your materials in person, please bring them to our office during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Mailed materials need to be postmarked by Saturday, October 28, 2017 and any materials dropped off to PiAf’s office must be delivered by Friday, October 27, 2017 at 5pm.

Can you let me know if my official transcript(s) or application fee check was received?

Due to the volume of materials received, it is impossible for PiAf to confirm the receipt of every applicant’s individual mailed application materials. Please do not call the PiAf office to ask if your materials have been received. Instead use the tracking systems offered by the USPS, FedEx, and other delivery services to ensure the delivery of your materials.

Do I really need to submit an “official” and an unofficial transcript? What exactly is an official transcript? Should I mail or email the transcript to your office?

Yes, you must submit with your application both an unofficial copy of your transcript AND an official copy of your transcript for each undergraduate and graduate school you graduated from or will graduate from.

An official copy of your transcript is one that is delivered to the PiAf office in a format that is certified, sealed and unopened. You can order an official copy of your transcript at your university’s registrar’s office. Many applicants will only have the option of ordering a hard copy of your official transcript to have delivered to the PiAf office by mail in a signed, sealed envelope. Some applicants’ universities may provide digital official transcripts which are delivered to the PiAf office via email in an electronic pdf format. These electronic pdf transcripts are considered official documents and can be validated because they have been digitally signed and certified by your institution. If your school provides electronic copies of official transcripts, you may have the registrar email it to Please note, you cannot forward an electronic official transcript to PiAf, the transcript must be received from your Registrar’s office directly to Princeton in Africa.

In order to submit the application, you will need to upload an unofficial copy of your transcript to the online application. This unofficial copy is merely a scan of your official transcript once it has been removed from the official envelope provided by your university’s registrar’s office (remember that once the transcript is unsealed it becomes unofficial). If you are submitting one transcript to PiAf with your application, you will need to order two copies of the transcript from your registrar’s office (one to open, scan and upload to the online form and one that will remain sealed for you to mail to the PiAf office). If you receive your unofficial transcript as an electronic version, please be sure that the PDF is not digitally sealed or coded in a way that it will expire or not be visible to multiple users. Some electronic official transcripts will have expiration coding; it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that your unofficial transcript will remain available to the Review Panel during the entire application process.

Important Note: If your school delivers your official transcript to you, please do not open the envelope before sending the transcript to us. (It is no longer official if the seal on the envelope is broken.)

We highly recommend contacting your Registrar’s office and discussing with them the best way to acquire your official and unofficial transcripts as each university has its own system.

Do I need to submit a transcript from the school where I studied abroad or transferred from?

The PiAf review panel would like to see your full undergraduate or graduate transcript, including any courses you took during a study abroad program or at a university you transferred from. If your study abroad courses or transfer courses and grades are indicated on the transcript of the university you will graduate from, you need not submit an additional transcript from your host university abroad. If these grades and courses are not listed on the transcript from the university you will graduate from, please submit a transcript from each university you attended during your undergraduate career and graduate career (if applicable).

Why do I need to submit a photo? What kind of photo should I submit?

Please submit a color photo of yourself. Your face should not be obscured and you should be the main focus of the picture (please submit a photo of you alone). Photos help the selection committee keep track of who’s who as applications are reviewed, and they may also be used in promotional materials should you be selected for a fellowship.

You are required to upload a photo to submit the application. The photo must be in .JPEG format and the file size limit for uploads to the application form is 256KB.

Whom should I ask to write my letter of recommendation?

Your letter of recommendation should be written by an employer, volunteer supervisor or professor who knows you well and should pertain specifically to your application to Princeton in Africa. Having trouble deciding whom to ask? You might consider asking someone who can speak to your character as well as your skills, strengths and abilities in the workplace, in a difficult or stressful setting, in a foreign country, in a leadership situation, or in tackling a significant academic project.

Your application will not be complete until your recommender submits your Letter of Recommendation to our online form. Please have your recommender submit the letter using this form by the online deadline of Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 11:59PM EDT. Ask him or her to name the file (your) “Lastname.Firstname.LOR.”

When completing the LOR form, your recommender can include your email address so that you are notified when the letter is submitted.

Please be sure to request your recommendation with as much advance notice as possible and follow up with your recommender to ensure the letter of recommendation is submitted. PiAf cannot assist in coordinating this process, answer requests for information about the submission of letters of recommendation or confirm submission of letters of recommendation. All applicants are responsible for guaranteeing the submission of their letter of recommendation.

Are there specific requirements for the letter of recommendation?

Your letter of recommendation should be specific to your application for Princeton in Africa. Your recommender should include his or her current title, organization, address, email address and phone number and the recommendation should be on letterhead if possible. The letter must be dated and cannot exceed 2 pages in length. The letter must be written in English. Your recommender may address the letter to “Princeton in Africa fellowship selection committee.” Please have your recommender name the file (your) “Lastname.Firstname.LOR” and submit the letter using this form by the online deadline (11:59PM EDT on Sunday, October 29, 2017).

May I submit more than one letter of recommendation?

No. Only one letter of recommendation will be read. Please do not submit more than one, as this will cause delays in reviewing your application.

What is the purpose of the “Alternative Plans” question? I am considering applying to other programs. Will this negatively affect my application?

PiAf recognizes that applicants have diverse interests and may submit applications to other programs or organizations. This will not disqualify you from consideration for PiAf, so please be honest when answering the question on the application form regarding alternative plans. This information helps us get a better sense of you and what kind of PiAf fellowship might be a good match.

Do I have to list any preferences? How seriously will my preferences be taken? Does it help or hinder me to be specific or vague in this section of the application?

In the online application, you will be asked which fellowship organizations you are open to working with. You will also be asked to rank your top four choices of fellowship organizations. The responses you provide in this section allow the application review panel insight into your interests in the posts Princeton in Africa offers. In commenting on your preferences, it is highly recommended that you review the Fellows Reports Database as well as the outline of expected 2018-19 sectors and roles. Please note that any preferences indicated are not set in stone. (For example, you would not be “locked in” to a public health fellowship simply because you indicated an interest in health on your application form; PiAf would consider you for other opportunities if appropriate.) As a reminder, applicants apply to the Princeton in Africa fellowship program and not to a specific fellowship post.

Ultimately, PiAf uses preferences as a starting point for continued conversations with candidates. We ask that you be honest while completing this section of the application form and also keep in mind that a certain degree of flexibility may enhance the likelihood of your placement. We work hard to find the best match for both the Fellows and fellowship organizations.

Which fellowships will be available next year?

The list of fellowships available for 2018-19 has not yet been finalized. However, you may use the list of current Fellows and the outline of expected 2018-19 sectors and roles as a guideline for which posts are likely to be offered next year. Most fellowship posts will be available from year to year, although a few new posts may be added or a post may be no longer available in the next fellowship year. More information on 2018-19 fellowship posts will be provided to those invited to interview in January 2018.

Is there a certain GPA I have to have in order to qualify for a fellowship? How much does my GPA matter?

PiAf does not have a minimum GPA requirement. Your academic record is just one component of your application which will be taken into consideration by the selection committee.

When will I hear whether I’ve been granted an interview?

The selection committee will review applications throughout the months of November and December. Candidates who will be invited to interview will be notified by late December 2017; those applicants who do not receive an interview will be notified then as well.

I am not a Princeton student. Do I have to be at Princeton for the interviews in January and pre-departure orientation in June? Can PiAf cover these costs?

An in-person interview is preferable, but if you are unable to be in Princeton during our pre-scheduled interview weekends, we will consider interviewing you via Skype video instead during pre-scheduled time slots in January. In the application, you will be asked about whether or not you can attend in-person interviews in Princeton. Please answer this question honestly; not being able to attend in person will not hinder your application.  The pre-departure orientation program is mandatory for all Fellows to attend. Orientation is June 6-10th, 2018 and Fellows are required to attend every day.

Unfortunately, PiAf is unable to cover the costs of bringing candidates to Princeton for interviews and orientation; applicants must be prepared to cover these costs themselves.

How many applications do you receive each year?

For the 2017-18 fellowship year we received over 400 applications.

Selection Process

Can I apply for a specific fellowship post?

No, applicants cannot apply for a specific fellowship post or host organization, but rather apply to the Princeton in Africa program to be considered for all available fellowship opportunities in a given year.

How does the placement process work?

PiAf’s placement process is in-depth. We work hard to find the best match for both Fellows and host organizations, and we work closely with candidates and representatives from our fellowship organizations throughout the process.

What does that mean for candidates? Following interviews in January, you may be asked to speak further with PiAf about your interests and skills. PiAf may engage you in a series of continued conversations, and as PiAf comes to know you and your goals better, your dossier may be put forward for consideration for a specific fellowship. You may be asked to write a statement of intent for an organization and then be interviewed again by a prospective host organization. If the organization agrees with PiAf that you would be a good match for that position, PiAf would extend a fellowship offer to you and you would have 3 days to consider the offer and then respond to PiAf. You must accept or decline the offer within 3 days so that PiAf can keep its placement process rolling as quickly as possible for both candidates and fellowship organizations. Candidates who are interviewed by an organization but not selected by that organization will return to the applicant pool and may be considered for other fellowship posts. Please note: not all candidates are placed with a fellowship organization.

When will placements be made?

All placements are made on a rolling basis. Due to the number of candidates and organizations with which PiAf works, it is impossible to announce all decisions at once or on a set date. PiAf does, however, aim to make placements as quickly as possible. Most placements occur in March and April, although in previous years some placements have been made as early as February and as late as June.

May I suggest my own organization? I have an organization in mind that I’d really like to work with.

While PiAf is always open to considering new organizations to add as host organizations, it is generally not possible for candidates to suggest an organization with which they would like to work. The process of adding a new host organization often requires a significant amount of time, and PiAf generally reviews new fellowship opportunities a full year in advance. All potential fellowship organizations must complete an application and be reviewed by the PiAf Programs Committee and be thoroughly vetted before becoming fellowship organizations.

That being said, if you would like to suggest a new organization for PiAf’s general consideration, please be in touch with PiAf staff. As adding new host organizations takes a great deal of time and resources to set up (and our host organizations generally fund our fellowship posts), please do not expect to suggest an organization for yourself to work with.

Fellowship Experience

How long are fellowships and when do they begin/end?

Fellowships are 12 months long. Depending on the organizations where they are placed, Fellows will begin work between June 11th and September 10th, 2018 and will complete their fellowship one year later, between June and September 2019. This timing largely depends on the needs of the fellowship organizations; please let us know early on if you have specific preferences in terms of timing but note that these preferences cannot always be accommodated. You must be prepared to make a 12-month commitment when applying to PiAf.

It is recommended that new Fellows attempt to overlap with the previous Fellow in their position (where possible). Even if only for a few days, this overlap period will greatly assist the new Fellow with getting settled and oriented.

Does PiAf offer fellowships that are longer than one year? Do people stay longer than a year?

PiAf fellowships are only one year long. Some Fellows do remain with their host organization or elsewhere in Africa longer than one year, but they do so in their own capacity. (That is, they receive a job offer from the organization or they make their own arrangements to work/volunteer for another organization.)

Is it possible to apply to law/medical/graduate school from Africa? What if I need to return to the United States for school interviews?

Yes, it is possible to apply to such programs while abroad. Based on your location, you may face some challenges in Internet connectivity or even the availability of electricity. However, Fellows have successfully navigated this process in the past, even taking graduate entrance exams while in Africa. If you anticipate the need to travel for an extended period of time for interviews, PiAf requests that selected Fellows discuss this early with their host organization.

As a Fellow, who will I be working with? What will my work environment be like? Are there a lot of opportunities for field work?

Your working environment will depend on the host organization with which you work. Some Fellows work closely with a supervisor or colleague(s); others work more independently. Some Fellows work in offices that are filled with local staff; others work with a high number of expatriates. Some Fellows are based in an organization’s country office and occasionally take trips to the field; others are based in rural areas where every day feels like field work. It is important to remember that all work environments have pros and cons, and that PiAf will do its best to match you with a work environment that we feel is the best fit. We encourage you to read the Fellows’ Reports in our reports database (you will need to email for the login information) to learn more about Fellows’ day-to-day work experiences at various posts.

What are Fellows’ social lives like?

A Fellow’s social life will depend on where he/she has been placed. Major urban areas generally offer a healthy expat scene and a variety of restaurants, bars, and other locales that Fellows may enjoy frequenting. In smaller cities and more rural areas, Fellows may find fewer expats, but the opportunities for interaction with local community members may be easier to come by. We encourage you to read the Fellows’ Reports in our reports database (you will need to email for the login information) to learn more about Fellows’ social lives at various posts.

What about safety and security?

These issues vary from country to country. For example, some countries have higher levels of crime than others. Fellows are advised to remain alert, to behave responsibly, and to be cautious about their activities and their belongings.

PiAf’s Programs Committee vets each placement prior to finalizing a fellowship, and PiAf makes every effort to avoid Fellows being exposed to dangerous situations. Fellows are briefed at the mandatory pre-departure orientation on health, safety, and security, including preparation for emergencies, street smarts, and the importance of keeping abreast of local and regional news. All Fellows must comply with PiAf’s travel policies and restrictions and notify PiAf of any travel they do, in addition to any health, safety or security issues they experience. Fellows must also keep close in touch with the PiAf office during their fellowship year.

And, along with medical insurance, PiAf provides medical evacuation coverage and security evacuation coverage to all Fellows.

How much are Fellows in contact with each other while in the field?

Community building among Fellows in the same fellowship class as well as among alumni is very important to Princeton in Africa, and is considered an important component of our fellowship program. PiAf encourages Fellows to be in touch with each other before, during, and after the fellowship year. (Although they may be working in different countries and with different organizations on different issues, PiAf Fellows often have many things in common and can therefore greatly support each other!)

The amount of contact Fellows actually have with each other each year, however, depends on the available posts. For example, some Fellows are based in the same city as other Fellows and thus it is likely that their social circles may cross or they may even choose to share an apartment. Other Fellows may be in different cities in the same country; these Fellows may see each other less frequently but visit each other when taking a weekend getaway from their own location. Those Fellows who are based further afield from other Fellows may rely on email, Skype or internet chatting to keep in touch.

PiAf also promotes contact between Fellows. Each year a listserv is created so that Fellows have only to write to one address to reach the entire group.

What expectations does PiAf have of Fellows once they have been placed and begun their fellowships?

Fellows should be in regular contact with PiAf before, during, and after the fellowship. PiAf provides support to Fellows as they transition into (and, at the end of the year, out of) their respective placements; PiAf also assists Fellows in case of an emergency. It is therefore important that Fellows keep in touch with PiAf about their goings-on and their whereabouts. Fellows are required to let PiAf staff know when they travel, if they become sick or injured, or if they have a security incident.

Fellows must adhere to all PiAf policies, including the Travel Restrictions Policy that lists locations Fellows must not travel to during their fellowship year (see application for the 2017-18 Travel Restrictions Policy but note that this and all policies may be updated at any time).

Fellows are also required to submit formal reports about their fellowships throughout the year (at the 3-month mark, the 6-month mark, and at the conclusion of the fellowship) as well as participate in PiAf communications through submitting materials for the bimonthly Fellows Flyer newsletter, Fellow Instagram Takeovers or Digital Storytelling Project. PiAf Fellows whose posts are sponsored are required to submit updates about their post to the sponsor.

Fellows may also be asked to assist PiAf in other ways, such as offering guidance to prospective Fellows or providing additional feedback or information about their location, fellowship, or organization.

Overall, Fellows should remember that PiAf is not simply a placement service. PiAf provides ongoing support to Fellows both during and after the fellowship period and strives to ensure that Fellows will likewise remain engaged with the program throughout their fellowship year and beyond.

What does a fellowship package include?

The Princeton in Africa experience is an investment on the part of each Fellow, each host organization, and PiAf. Financial arrangements vary with each fellowship, but generally break down as follows:

Fellows should expect to cover:

  • Transportation to/from Princeton for interviews.
  • Transportation to/from Princeton for PiAf’s entire MANDATORY pre-departure orientation.
  • $150 program placement fee, paid upon acceptance of a PiAf fellowship post. This contribution is only a fraction of the total yearly program costs to PiAf for each fellowship post.
  • Round-trip air travel to/from their fellowhip post in Africa
  • Pre-departure medical expenses (e.g. immunizations, malaria prevention medications, personal medications). This also includes any doctor or clinic costs associated with completing the mandatory PiAf medical clearance form. A Fellow may be able to cover some of the medical costs associated with health check ups, immunizations and malaria prevention directly from the stipend received from the PiAf fellowship organization. However, as everyone’s health needs are different, Fellows should be prepared to pay for pre-departure medical expenses out-of-pocket. Current students should visit their university health centers for advice on necessary immunizations and preparations, and to complete the medical clearance form.
  • In most cases, visas and work permits.
  • Sundries and recreational travel.

Note: PiAf is committed to ensuring that all applicants are able to participate in the fellowship program without regard to need. Once placed with a host organization, Fellows with demonstrated financial need should speak directly with PiAf. We will work with applicants to ensure that financial considerations do not prevent any applicant selected for a fellowship from participating.

PiAf/fellowship organizations aim to cover:

  • On-the-ground expenses including housing and living stipend.
  • Medical insurance, medical evacuation insurance and security evacuation insurance
  • Pre-departure orientation for all Fellows. (Orientation is mandatory and transportation costs to orientation are the Fellow’s responsibility.)
  • Mid-year retreat in Africa (including partial travel grant for travel to/from the retreat.

I have educational loans from my time in college/university. Can Princeton in Africa help me with loan deferral?

Princeton in Africa advises each applicant to first speak to their campus’s financial aid office when looking into deferring loans. Fellows must coordinate with their loan providers directly to defer loans. However, PiAf can provide documentation explaining that the Fellow is participating in the PiAf program as supplemental documentation for a Fellow’s application to defer loan repayment.

Post-Fellowship Experience

What are the benefits of being a PiAf Fellow after my fellowship year?

We believe a Princeton in Africa fellowship experience is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for personal and professional development and growth. It is often described as a way to get a foot in the door of the field of development on the African continent. But it is also an opportunity to join a growing community of PiAf alumni who are passionate about Africa and eager to network and support each other in the years to come. Since 1999, Princeton in Africa has placed 545 Fellows in 36 African countries. But don’t just take our word for it…

“Princeton in Africa has been a wonderful opportunity in so many ways, and I will forever be grateful for this experience. One unique facet of the program that I didn’t fully appreciate before starting my fellowship year was the fact that the PiAf team not only selects you as a Fellow, they play the role of professional matchmaker, placing you in the position they feel best suits both you and the organization. I couldn’t imagine a post better suited to my skillset, professional interests, and passions; as a result, I have been able to grow as a professional and as a person, and have had an incredibly fulfilling experience. I have been able to accomplish far more than I would have expected, and truly believe that the impact of my work on my placement organization and the youth I work with will last far beyond my time in Lesotho. That is far from the case for many recent graduates, especially in development, and I have the PiAf team to thank for placing me here and making this possible.”

Helena Hengelbrok, PiAf 2016-17 Fellow, Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative Lesotho

Princeton in Africa alumni go on to pursue careers in diverse fields, staying in Africa, returning to the U.S., or finding opportunities around the world. The majority of alumni pursue graduate studies as well, including MA, MBA, MD, MPA/MPP, MPH, JD, PhD degrees.

In a recent PiAf alumni survey:

  • 98% of alumni respondents reported being “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their experience as a Princeton in Africa Fellow.
  • 88% of alumni respondents “strongly agree” or “agree” that skills, awareness and experience gained during their fellowship helped them acquire a job in their field of interest.
  • 95% reported that they had an increased commitment to Africa’s advancement after their fellowship.
  • Nearly 77% of alumni have returned to Africa since their fellowship year.


Can I be added to the mailing list?

Yes! Prospective applicants who would like to be added to PiAf’s applicant mailing list should email If you would like to be added to PiAf’s general mailing list, please email Please state in your email which mailing list (applicants or general) you would like to be added to.