Who participates in the International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP)?
While the honor of being a Scholar Laureate is a singular one, you will find our delegations are incredibly diverse in the age and level of academic studies of each participant. That said, your fellow Scholar Laureates will have some things in common. All of you have strong academic records and leadership skills. Also, everyone must be at least 18 years old at the time of the Program and currently enrolled in a college or university as an undergraduate or graduate student or be a recent graduate. All scholars must speak fluent English.
How are scholars nominated to attend?
Scholars come to the attention of ISLP and are considered for nomination thanks to the input of a variety of sources, including:
Is there a way for a non-nominated scholar to be considered for nomination?
If you have not been nominated but believe you would benefit from the experience, do not hesitate to contact us and we will be pleased to send you self-nomination information.
Who facilitates the programs?
Your delegation will be led by Faculty Advisors who are knowledgeable professionals with experience in the corresponding career field of their delegation. Your Faculty Advisor will be responsible for implementing the curriculum, facilitating your briefings, debriefings and small group discussions, participating in all scheduled activities and supervising Program scholars. ISLP also enlists in-country travel managers who function as guides, interpreters and points of contact in your host country. You can expect a scholar to staff ratio of 35 to 1 or less.
What is a typical day like?
Your typical day will begin with a group meeting and briefing session on the day’s scheduled events. While no two days are the same for any program, you will find almost all involve a mix of educational and cultural activities. Educational components may include distinguished speakers, panel discussions, group meetings and university and professional site visits. Free time is also built into the schedule for scholars to explore their host countries independently.
How many people make up a delegation?
Depending on the restrictions of the individual program site, you will have between 30 and 120 scholars in your delegation who will be part of a larger Program of students.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for my delegation?
Overall, you should do what you probably do anyway – keep up-to-date on current events and trends in your field of study through print and online media. You may also want to mention your upcoming experience to your professors or other advisors as they can often provide insights into areas that might be of special interest or importance to your career goals. Also, while we do not expect you to know everything about your host country in the weeks or months before your trip, we do believe that the more familiar you are with your destination’s culture and customs before you arrive, the more you will gain while you are there.
Keep in mind that once you are enrolled, you will receive further resources on the country you will be visiting as well as information to help prepare for the Program. This information will cover travel logistics, destination information and academic preparation materials.
How will attending an ISLP Delegation help me achieve my career goals?
Each of our career-focused delegations is designed to be a growth opportunity that will further your knowledge of and perspectives on your chosen field through personal and professional enrichment. Previous scholars have found the Program to be an incredible stepping stone to further develop particular interests in their field of study and to enhance their professional and academic résumé.
Can I receive college credit for the Program?
The International Scholar Laureate Program (ISLP) has partnered with nationally ranked George Mason University to offer college credit to any student who takes part in one of our international delegations. George Mason University has been recognized for three years by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 "Universities to Watch" in the United States!
What are some of the benefits of the Program?
International educational experiences such as ISLP provide global networking opportunities and insight into career fields. We are also more than happy to provide you with letters of participation that you may include in your applications for graduate programs, internships, jobs, scholarships, etc.
Equally important, ISLP safely exposes scholars to the ins and outs of navigating foreign cultures, the complexity of travel logistics and the myriad of other skills necessary to travel and compete in an increasingly connected global economy.
All information is located on the Tuition page.
What does the tuition cover?
Below is a list of general items covered by tuition. For specific details for the delegation and country you are interested in, please see the “What’s Included?” link on each delegation page.
Is financial assistance available to help pay for the tuition?
Should you require financial assistance, a special fundraising guide has been prepared to help interested scholars raise the necessary funds within their communities. We strongly encourage scholars to use this guide to fundraise and obtain sponsors to help them pay for the tuition costs associated with attending ISLP. Over two-thirds of our scholars fundraise part or all of their tuition. Read through our fundraising guide and get started. In addition, the Office of Admissions is available to support scholars in their fundraising efforts.
ISLP is also proud to offer a limited number of scholarships to members of Golden Key International Honour Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Theta Kappa. Please visit the Scholarships page for more information.
How much spending money should I bring?
You will need to purchase at least one meal per day (average $10-20 U.S. dollars, depending on personal choice and destination) and miscellaneous small purchases, including laundry services, internet and telephone calls as needed. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to buy souvenirs and enjoy leisure activities during scheduled free time. Once you are enrolled, we will provide additional resources on spending money and currency exchange.
Where will scholars reside during the Program?
Carefully selected accommodations will be used throughout the Program. These could include hotel, university or other lodgings, depending on the country. For details particular to the delegation and country you are interested in, please see the “What’s Included?” tab on each country-specific delegation page.
Can I make a roommate request?
Yes, you are free to make roommate requests after enrollment through April 1. Interested scholars should contact the Office of Admissions after they receive their confirmation of enrollment.
How should I plan my international transportation to and from the Program?
The International Scholar Laureate Program has partnered with WorldTEK to provide air booking services for ISLP scholars. WorldTEK can handle all of your domestic and international flight needs. You may also book your flight arrangements on your own through Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, etc.
Contact WorldTEK's dedicated representatives and identify that you are an ISLP scholar:
Am I allowed to extend my stay in the destination country?
Yes. Scholars are encouraged to take part in the Optional Extensions provided by ISLP. It is a chance for scholars to discover more of their host countries. Optional Extensions are Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef for delegations ending in Australia, Hong Kong for delegations in China, Sydney for delegations in New Zealand and Kruger National Park for delegations in South Africa. Scholars may also choose to extend their stay on their own for independent exploration.
How will I travel while in the destination country?
During scheduled Program activities, travel in your host country will be by plane or private motor coach except in China where a portion of the trip may be completed by train.
How and when should I obtain a passport?
You do not need to have a passport before enrolling in the Program, but you will need to begin the passport application process to acquire one immediately after confirmation of enrollment. The charge for a passport and/or visas is not included in the program tuition.
For U.S. passport holders, information on how to apply for a passport can be found on the U.S. Department of State's web site: travel.state.gov/passport.
Do I need a visa to enter the host country?
It is the responsibility of each student to contact the respective consulate (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or China, as appropriate) to learn about specific entry requirements, as acquiring and payment of all required travel documentation is the sole responsibility of the scholar.
ISLP scholars traveling to Australia, New Zealand and China on a U.S. passport will require a visa. More information on the visa acquisition process and fees will be provided post-enrollment.
Will there be vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options at every meal?
Individuals should inform ISLP of their dietary requirements prior to the start of the program. The realities of foreign travel mean that options are often limited. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, but due to limitations, vegetarian options will be repeated throughout the program. We may be able to accommodate vegan requests, but individuals will find options severely limited and we will not be able to guarantee an option at every meal. All provided meals are served buffet style or as plated meals.
Will there be kosher options at every meal?
Due to varying cultures in the various countries, we are not able to guarantee kosher options. However, there will always be a vegetarian option at meals. In some cases, kosher meals can be provided at an additional cost. Please contact the Office of Admissions to speak directly with a staff member for more information.
Will there be opportunities to attend any religious services?
There is time built into the schedule (day or evening) for scholars to do some independent exploration and you are free to use this time for religious purposes or other needs. However, these times do vary by day and country.
Is it possible for scholars with special needs to attend?
Yes. However, the first recommendation we would make would be that you speak directly to a staff member at our Office of Admissions to get a better idea of what potentially challenging activities your delegation might involve so that together you might make the best decision about whether or not to attend and which Program would be best for you.