Bonderman Travel Fellowship

A decision to select new fellows in the 2022-23 academic year has not yet been made. Please check back here in January 2023 for an update.

See our FAQs for more information.


  • Each Bonderman Fellow will receive $23,000 for eight months of travel.
  • Fellows travel independently for eight months, exploring six or more countries in two or more major regions of the world.
  • Bonderman travel is on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  When the UW determines that travel to many countries is possible, Bonderman travel will resume.  Fellows will have a twelve-month window in which to depart.  The window for departure will vary depending on the fellow’s specific schedule and the capacity of the Bonderman staff. 
  • See the Bonderman COVID-19 FAQ for more information on how the pandemic impacts the Bonderman Fellowship. 


The Bonderman Fellowship offers University of Washington graduate, professional and undergraduate students from the Seattle, Tacoma, and Bothell campuses an opportunity to engage in independent international travel. Applicants must:

  • Be University of Washington graduate, professional or undergraduate students
  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be enrolled at UW and in good academic, conduct and disciplinary standing during the quarter the application is due
  • If awarded, good academic, disciplinary and conduct standing is a prerequisite of receiving the fellowship

GRADUATE/PROFESSIONAL STUDENTS: All students enrolled in graduate or professional degree programs are eligible to apply. (On leave status is not considered “enrolled.”)

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: All undergraduate students with senior credit standing AND who also meet ONE of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

  • at least a 3.50 cumulative UW GPA by the start of Winter 2021; OR
  • participation and good standing in the University Honors Program (Interdisciplinary, Departmental, or College Honors) or in UW Tacoma’s Global Honors Program, by the start of Winter 2021. Undergraduates in one of these honors programs DO NOT need to have 3.50 UW GPA or higher to apply but must be in good standing in their respective programs, whatever that may mean.


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. An applicant need not have a travel theme or project but should demonstrate initiative, commitment, passion, honesty, and creativity.  Travel plans should be personal and not about academic research.

 Because this journey is intended to foster independence, fellows may not:

  • participate in a program or organization;
  • engage in formal study at a university;
  • conduct research or other academic projects; or
  • travel with an organized group while carrying out the obligations of the fellowship.

Additionally, these fellowships should introduce students to cultures, peoples, and areas of the world with which they are not familiar, therefore:

  • travel to highly westernized/developed areas (including Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) is not competitive;
  • family heritage trips are not competitive;
  • preference is given to candidates without extensive international travel experience.


A committee of past Bonderman Fellows, faculty, and staff review applications. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview in late winter quarter, with final awards announced during spring quarter. Undergraduate and graduate/professional applicants will be considered simultaneously but in separate pools.

The Bonderman selection committee will evaluate applications based on the following questions: 

  • Does the applicant demonstrate integrity, maturity, commitment and creativity in their travel proposal?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate the desire and ability to travel independently for eight months?
  • Does the applicant demonstrate the potential for humane and effective participation in the global community?
  • Does the applicant describe goals for personal growth in their proposal?
  • Does the applicant propose a feasible itinerary?
  • Does the applicant have previous travel experience?  If so, how will the Bonderman travel experience be different than their previous travel experience(s)?


All 2021 Bonderman information sessions and Q&As have now passed. Check back in mid-autumn 2021 for information on the next round of applications. We’ll provide an information session recording when the next cycle is open and its corresponding info sessions are offered.

We highly recommend attending one of these information sessions, then reaching out to us if you have additional questions, prior to completing an application.


The Bonderman Travel Fellowship application changes each cycle. Please carefully review this page and the entire online application – as well as attending an information session and reaching out to us with questions – before beginning your application and well in advance of the deadline. The application consists of several components and we recommend that you carefully read all prompts and instructions before beginning the application.

Applications may only be submitted online. Do not email or drop off a paper application in person. No late applications will be accepted.