How to Apply

Who Can Apply


Fellowship candidates should meet these minimum qualifications:


  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of forestry, natural resources, or other related degree. Alternatively, candidates with at least four years of natural resources work experience may apply.
  • Proficiency in English, both written and spoken.
  • At least 21 years of age.
  • Initial research proposal on a topic relevant to forestry or natural resources in the home country. The project should take advantage of being in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Ability to be self-motivated, to work independently towards a clear research goal or output, and to work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.


How to Apply


1. Download Application. Download and complete the WFI application in full. All sections must be completed including the financial section. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


  • If you are unsure whether a project you have in mind would meet our criteria, please email us with a short description of your intended project before submitting your application.


2. Submit Application and CV. Email your complete application along with your CV or resume to WFI Sr. Programs Manager, Chandalin Bennett, Please do not send a CV or letter of interest without a completed application form. It is free to apply.


3. Interview. Once your application has been reviewed you will receive notice of whether or not you have been selected for an interview. Once the interview is complete, a reference check will be done and you will receive notice of whether or not you have been accepted into the program.


4. Submit Visa Application. If you are accepted, you will begin the process of applying for the J-1 visa if you are a foreign citizen. This application process is lengthy and requires a different application form and additional documentation. There are fees associated with applying for the visa. Please visit our Costs and Sponsorship page for more information on visa fees and the visa application process.



Application Timeline and Fellowship Start Dates


Applications for 2015 are no longer being accepted.


The application deadline for the 2016 Fellowship Program is December 31, 2015. We must receive your WFI application by the end of year 2015 in order to be considered for the Fellowship program in 2016. Please keep in mind that our application is just the first step in the application process and you need to apply at least three months before your intended start date.


We have two start dates for the Fellowship Program. For 2016 you have the choice of starting either on Monday, April 18th, 2016 or on Monday, May 16, 2016. Please be sure to indicate in your application which date you intend to start.  These start dates are firm and you should plan to arrive up to 10 days before your start date.


Temporary Housing

For those starting on April 18, temporary housing will be provided for you from April 8-17, 2016 for $100 USD. WFI will cover the rest of this cost. You are expected to find permanent housing to move into during this 10-day period before your start. It can take at least a week, and oftentimes longer, to secure permanent housing and you must spend this time actively engaged in looking for place to rent during your Fellowship. For those starting on May 16, temporary housing will be provided to you from May 6-15, 2016 for $100 USD.


  • You are responsible for 100% of your housing costs outside of the above-listed dates. For example, if you arrive on March 13 for a March 14 start date, there will be no housing provided for you. You will be responsible for finding your own temporary and/or permanent housing accommodations.


  • Additionally, if you do not secure permanent housing before the end of your temporary housing stay, you are responsible for 100% of the costs of any additional temporary housing. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to arrive as close as possible to March 4 or April 8 arrival dates.


Permanent Housing

Accommodations in Portland are very hard to find. The city is experiencing a lot of growth at the time, many people are moving here, and this is putting pressure on the housing market. The best resource we have for finding accommodations for a six-month stay is on Craigslist Portland. Here you can choose to search for your own apartment, search for a room to rent in shared housing, or even post an ad saying that you are looking for a room to rent. We will help you in your search and ensure that you are in a good area within reasonable commuting distance to the World Forestry Center.



  • We will pick you up at the airport, or make alternative travel arrangements, to get you from the airport to your temporary housing accommodations when you arrive, provided that you arrive within 10 days before your start date, i.e., March 4-13 or April 8-17.
    • If you arrive outside of these dates, you are responsible for booking your own travel logistics and paying for them in full. We will provide you information on how to call a cab/taxi or book/reserve a shuttle.


  • We will pay to move you from your temporary accommodations to your permanent housing location. This may or may not involve hiring movers, depending on where you move and the type of accommodations you find. We will pay for this initial move only. If you decide to move again after this initial move, all costs of moving will be at your own expense.


  • We will pay to move you out of your housing at the end of your Fellowship program, directly before you depart the country. Again, this may or may not involve movers. Regardless, we will assist.  


If you cannot start on one of the above dates you will be 100% responsible for booking and paying for your own temporary accommodations, securing your own permanent housing, and all other moving and transportation expenses.  Please plan accordingly.





Frequently asked questions


Can WFI provide full scholarships or funding for the Fellowship program?
No. WFI cannot provide full funding for the Fellowship due to high demand and limited resources. Applicants must find their own source of funding for at least 50% of the Fellowship program fee and visa fee, and they are responsible for their own travel costs. In the rare case that a scholarship opportunity does arise to cover the costs of the fellowship program, they will be advertised on the WFI home page.


What is expected from me when I apply?
Your project proposal should clearly outline your learning objectives (see above). We understand that in the course of your time here, you may have to adapt your proposal. You will also need to secure at least half of the funding for your Fellowship. Additionally, we recommend securing supplemental funding for items not covered by the program (such as travel). Aside from that, bring an open mind, a positive attitude, initiative and rain gear!

What type of visa do Fellows come to the US on?
Fellows arrive on a J-1 Trainee visa. The visa application is handled by a third-party organization, Experience International. The J-1 Trainee program is designed to allow participants to come to the United States to gain exposure to US culture and receive training in US business practices in their chosen field. Upon completion of the program, participants are expected to return to their home countries where they will be able to utilize their newly learned skills and knowledge to advance their careers, and to share their experience with their peers and others.

Does WFI provide housing for me?
No. Fellows are responsible for finding their own housing accommodations while in Portland. WFI can assist with this. Typically, Fellows rent a room out of someone’s house or are hosted by a family while they are here. Craigslist Portland is a useful website for finding housing.


For detailed information, please download:

application form