Pre-Fellowship Checklist

Students appointed to a Cornell Fellowship should complete each of the following items prior to the start of the fellowship:

  1. Schedule a meeting with RJ Holmes-Leopold. At this meeting you will be going over the Cornell Fellows Agreement, the Learning and Assessment Plan, Blogging Guidelines, and the Cornell College Internship Agreement.
  2. Develop a draft budget of anticipated expenses for the fellowship. Be sure to include complete estimates for all anticipated housing, transportation, food, and training supplies. The expense allowance cap for domestic fellowships is $3,000 and for international fellowships is $4,100. Even if your anticipated expenses exceed the cap, you will still need to document the full amount in your budget.

  3. Complete internship proposal paperwork. Cornell Fellows are required to earn academic credit for the fellowship.  You will need to have your faculty sponsor sign off on the internship proposal form (academic year or summer) from the Registrar's Office. The form must be submitted prior to the term in which the internship will begin and tuition must be paid prior to the start of the experience in order to receive academic credit. Students are personally responsible for covering the cost of tuition for the academic credit; Cornell Fellows expense allowances may not be used towards paying the college's tuition.

  4. Complete dining services meal refund form. Fellows may be eligible for a refund of a portion of the amount charged for meals in the terms the student is at the fellowship site during the academic year. The form must be submitted at least 7 days prior to the start of the fellowship and the student may not eat on campus during the terms in which they receive a meal refund. The meal refund form is on the back side of the internship proposal form.

  5. Forward your mail. If you would like your mail forwarded to you while away from campus, you'll need to complete the Mail and Service Center's online form to make the necessary arrangements.

  6. Secure housing. Depending on your fellowship location, apartment search websites (apartmentsearch.com, rent.com, craigslist.org) and local university websites (housing/residential life office, off-campus housing, or commuter affairs pages) may be good resources to use in finding housing. You may also want to visit with your site mentor for tips on where to live in the local area as well as additional resources to consider. Keep in mind that short-term leases can be hard to find at first, but be persistent. You may also want to explore the proximity to public transit, access to grocery stores and other shopping, as well as safety of the property before committing to the housing. If you run into problems with housing, please contact RJ Holmes-Leopold for additional support.

  7. Make travel plans. If you are flying to your fellowship site, you will likely need to book at least 14 days in advance to secure the best airfare deals. Discount booking sites (e.g., Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, StudentUniverse) in addition to the airline websites themselves are good places to look. If you are not able to purchase your flight on your own prior to receiving your expense allowance, please contact Megan Hicks for assistance with making the purchase.

  8. Purchase supplies. Prior to the start of the fellowship, you may need to brush up on materials or prepare for new information that you will be responsible for knowing on site. Your training supply budget can be used to purchase training supplies that can help you with this task.

  9. Complete health verification. As part of the Cornell Fellowship Agreement, all Cornell Fellows are required to have a qualified health professional verify the student is physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of participating in the fellowship. Fellows have several options to consider in fulfilling this requirement: the nurses at Student Health Services, contacting your family physician at home, or setting up an appointment with a local healthcare provider. If you are doing an international experience, you should meet with Student Health Services at least four weeks prior to your date of departure to ensure any medical care processes have been initiated at the appropriate time.

  10. International Fellows.  Need to take a couple extra steps to prepare.  Please start by meeting with the International and Off Campus Studies Office (Old Sem) to review how to properly prepare for your trip abroad.  You will need to have met with Student Health Services at least four weeks prior to departure to prepare any additional paperwork besides the Health Verification mentioned above. 
  11. Log into the Blog. In order to gain permission to post in the Cornell Fellows Blog, you will need to sign onto WordPress using your Cornell username and password prior to the start of your fellowship. Once you have signed in once, email RJ Holmes-Leopold so he can set up the appropriate site permission for you.

  12. Initiate contact with the fellowship site. You will want to have conversation with your fellowship site mentor at least four to six weeks prior to the start of your fellowship about what to expect on site, how to best prepare, and where you need to go on your first day. In some cases you may have to submit paperwork from the organization's Human Resources office in order to access their facilities; be sure you turn those materials in on time to avoid delays at the start of your fellowship experience.

  13. Draft initial Learning and Assessment Plan. Prior to the start of your fellowship, you will want to familiarize yourself with the contents of the Learning and Assessment Plan and begin drafting some of your initial learning objectives. You will be required to submit the completed version of your LAP during week two of the fellowship after you have met with your site mentor about the document. It would be wise, however, to get a head start on the document so you are able to have a thoughtful conversation with your site mentor about what you are hoping to learn during the fellowship.

  14. Take a picture. Stop by the Career Engagement Center to have your headshot photo taken for the Cornell Fellows website. This must be completed at least two weeks prior to the start of your fellowship.  Submitting a previously taken photo is not an option.
  15. International Students. If you are an international student completing a Cornell Fellowship, you must meet with a staff member in the Office of Intercultural Life to complete SEVIS paperwork prior to the start of your fellowship. All forms must be submitted and approved through the SEVIS system before the first day of your fellowship experience. Your student visa status may be revoked if you do not complete this step in the process!
  16. Submit completed Cornell Fellowship Agreement and related documents. In order for you to have your expense allowance, your completed Cornell Fellowship Agreement, health verification, Internship Agreement, and budget must be turned in to the Cornell Fellows Program at least two weeks prior to the start of your fellowship. Additionally, you must have signed into WordPress at least once and have your photo taken for the Cornell Fellows website. Failure to accomplish these four tasks will result in a disbursement delay of your expense allowance.