Jeffersonian Fellowships Program

The East-West Center is delighted to announce the 2019 Jefferson Fellowships program.

The Jefferson Fellowships offer print and broadcast journalists from the United States, Asia, and the Pacific Islands the unique opportunity to gain on-the-ground perspectives and build international networks to enhance their reporting through an intensive one-week education and dialogue seminar at the East-West Center in Honolulu, followed by a two week reporting tour in the Asia-Pacific-U.S. region.

Program Background

The Jefferson Fellowships is the East-West Center’s most widely-recognized and established seminar program, with an illustrious alumni network of more than 600 Jefferson Fellows across the Asia Pacific region and the United States.  The broad goal of the program is for the news media to enhance public understanding of cultures, issues, and trends in the Asia Pacific region.  Participation in the Jefferson Fellowships provides journalists with an opportunity to report from cities across the Asia Pacific on key issues and developments, sharing with audiences first-hand perspectives and new insights.  The program provides a unique combination of study-dialogue at the East-West Center with a reporting trip taken with colleagues from countries across the region.  This provides journalists with enhanced knowledge of the most important regional issues, reporting imbued with perspectives from journalists from 10 different countries, valuable professional contacts, and life-long friendships with their colleagues in the program.  Participants also gain access to the EWC’s international network of more than 1,000 media professionals and 50,000 alumni.

Program Theme: Migration Policy & Public Sentiment

Destinations: Honolulu, Hawaii; Seoul, South Korea; Manila, Philippines; Sydney, Australia

Dates: April 21 – May 12, 2019

Application Deadline: Thursday, February 7, 2019

2019 Jefferson Fellowships

The 2019 Jefferson Fellowships program will bring together 10-12 multinational journalists to explore a theme of “Migration Policy & Public Sentiment.”  An immersive 21-day dialogue, travel, and reporting program will enable participating journalists to contextualize and compare migration patterns and policy solutions as well as better understand how economic, political, social, and cultural concerns are influencing public sentiment and fostering support for nativist policies and populist politicians.  The 2019 Jefferson Fellowships will begin at the East-West Center in Honolulu with an examination of migrant patterns in the United States and the Asia Pacific, including countries of origin, educational attainment, gender, and distribution within recipient countries.  Journalists will also explore President Donald Trump’s push for more restrictive immigration policies along with how this has framed the public debate and influenced sentiment.  Site visits in Honolulu will provide unique opportunities to engage with affected community members.  Travel to Seoul will examine the driving forces underpinning South Korea’s migration patterns; public sentiment regarding those patterns; and the gradual implementation of policies intended to attract expatriate nationals and foreign workers.  Travel to Manila will similarly explore domestic push factors compelling Filipinos abroad; the evolution of related policymaking; and the various institutions and civil society organizations aimed at facilitation and protection of overseas workers.  Travel to Sydney will examine Australia’s move away from family migration to skilled migration targeting national workforce needs; the rise of temporary and “two-step migration”; the controversial “Pacific Solution”; and the public’s response.  Finally, meetings with government officials, security officers, academics, media colleagues, students, civil society leaders, and immigrants will provide first-hand exposure to and a more nuanced understanding of the theme while building the professional networks of participating journalists.

Who Can Apply

The Jefferson Fellowships are open to working print, broadcast, and online journalists in the United States and Asia Pacific, defined as: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Vietnam.  A minimum five years of professional experience is preferred.  Applicants must have the ability to communicate in English in a professional, multi-cultural environment.  Preference will be given to journalists who clearly articulate the relevance of the theme to their areas of coverage and how they intend to use the knowledge gained to enhance the perspectives of viewers, readers, and listeners.  Journalists are strongly encourage to generate media content during and after the program in the form of formal print and broadcast stories, blogs, tweets, Instagram and other social media communications.


The 2019 Jefferson Fellowships are funded by the Freeman Foundation, the Mary Mogan Hewett Fund, the East-West Center, and individual scholarships made possible by alumni.  These funds provide for 10-12 full or partial scholarships, including approximately 2-4 for American journalists and 8-10 for Asia Pacific journalists.  A full scholarship for the 2019 Jefferson Fellowships is valued at $8745 and covers international airfare, lodging, ground transportation, meals, and other programmatic costs.  Journalists are responsible for a $800 program fee as well as their own visa fees, health insurance, and baggage charges.  EWC encourages additional cost-sharing of programmatic costs and considers cost-sharing in the selection of applicants.

For application instructions please visit:

For inquiries about the application process, please call: 808-944-7727.

Questions about the Jefferson Fellowships should be directed to: Liz A. Dorn, Program Coordinator,; 808-944-7368.