Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Where would you go if you had eight months to travel solo? Which two continents and six countries would you visit? How would you get there? Where would you stay? What experiences would you seek out? How would you be transformed?

Each year a select group of UW students are provided a rare opportunity to independently travel the world as Bonderman Fellows. David Bonderman, a UW alumnus, created the Bonderman Fellowship in 1995, which has funded life-changing global journeys for more than 280 students.

The Bonderman Fellowship offers University of Washington graduate, professional, and undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in independent exploration and travel abroad. Administered by the University Honors Program and the Graduate School, Bonderman Fellowships enable students to undertake independent international travel to explore, be open to the unexpected, and come to know the world in new ways. Fellows may not participate in a program or organization, engage in formal study at a foreign university, conduct research or other academic projects, or travel with an organized group. Bonderman Fellowships are intended to introduce students to cultures, peoples, and areas of the world with which they are not familiar.

About David Bonderman

For more than twenty years UW alumnus David Bonderman has supported UW students via travel fellowships that ask them to explore, challenge themselves, and see the globe through a different lens. Bonderman, who earned his undergraduate degree in Russian from the University of Washington in 1963, received a Sheldon Fellowship after graduating from Harvard Law School, which allowed him to travel internationally and had a profound impact on his life. In 2017 the University of Washington Bonderman Fellowship expanded its impact with a $10 million endowment from David Bonderman.

Applying for the Bonderman Fellowship

UW graduate students, professional students, and undergraduate students are eligible to apply for the Bonderman Travel Fellowship. The application process includes an essay, a proposed itinerary, and an interview with a selection committee composed of University of Washington faculty and staff, as well as former Bonderman Fellows. The application for the 2020 fellows will be available in November 2019. For more information, go to:

We are pleased to share that another fellowship honoring the interests and work of Mr. Bonderman was started by his daughter at her alma mater, the University of Michigan. Learn more about UM’s program.