Frequently Asked Questions


Q Is the APLP Fellowship open only to candidates of Asian descent?  What is the age cutoff?  And what if my country isn't considered a part of the Asia Pacific region?

The APLP Fellowship is intended for any individual with a deep interest in leadership training and a demonstrated commitment to promoting peace and prosperity in the Asia Pacific region - regardless of citizenship, age or ethnicity.  All citizenships are welcome to apply.  Anyone who meets the minimum criteria is eligible to apply.  There are no age restrictions in the APLP.  In fact, the APLP has had participants as old as 52 years of age.  

Q The APLP is a 9-month program with a 4-month residency requirement in Hawai’i. Please explain what this means?


AThe APLP is a nine-month program (late-August to early-May).  All APLP Fellows live on the East-West Center's campus in Honolulu from August – December (or until the field study departs Honolulu, whichever comes first).  The residential period in Honolulu involves intensive, experiential training, coursework and living and working within a diverse community. Content focuses on three areas: 1) understanding regional trends; 2) leadership development; and 3) professional development.

APLP Fellowship activities for the Second Term (January - May) take place virtually through internet-based platforms, therefore there are no costs for completing the Second Term.  Fellows are free to return to their home countries [and former employment], as all required assignments can be completed independently and submitted through internet-based platforms.  The typical time commitment for Second Term assignments is 3 – 4 hours per week (ex: monthly updates, a capstone project and final portfolio).  The Second Term of the APLP is designed to provide the time, space and institutional support for participants to pursue individual career plans and professional goals. It is a time to activate the learning from the First Term in practical application and to deepen the leadership learning process.


Q Can I take elective classes at the University of Hawai‘i Manoa (UHM) while enrolled in the APLP?


ADuring the fall semester, elective classes are not permitted. The First Term (August - December) of the APLP is an extremely intensive, full-time experience; it is NOT like taking normal graduate courses. Aside from individual coursework, the program involves teamwork projects and multiple activities outside the classroom, including field trips, evening lectures, weekend exercises, and off-campus conferences.  During the Second Term, participants who are US citizens may elect to return to Hawaii to take a full load (9 credits) of coursework at UHM in elective classes, though they must apply independently for admission to the university. Participants choose which classes they would like to take, subject to availability.

Q What does "equivalent to a 3-year bachelor's degree" mean?


A To be eligible to apply to the APLP, applicants must have at least a 3-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited U.S. college or university or from a recognized institution of higher learning abroad. If you do not possess a degree and are still interested in the program, please contact our staff directly at



Q What are the degree certification and transcript requirements for application to the APLP?


A An official degree certificate and official transcript must be submitted for the highest degree you have obtained.  Have the transcript and degree certificate sealed in an envelope by the institution you attended and mailed to the EWC Awards Services Office:


Award Services/APLP
East-West Center, JAB 2066
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96848-1601


All official transcripts and degree certificates must be sealed directly by the institution or Ministry of Education to the EWC Awards Office. These documents should be mailed in an official university or Ministry envelope and remain sealed by that institution in order to be accepted by the East-West Center. Documents mailed or hand-carried by the applicant or a third party will not be accepted as official or used for admissions consideration unless they are contained in an envelope that has been sealed by the university.


Q Is financial assistance available for APLP fellows?


AAll APLP participants are granted a generous APLP Entry Fellowship by the East-West Center to cover the majority of program fees. The value of these fellowships is approximately $13,000.


Regarding the supplemental costs of participation in the APLP (accommodation, living expenses etc.), a number of East-West Center funding opportunities are available. However, these supplemental scholarships are competitive and require submission of a completed Request for Scholarships form. Supplemental funds are awarded based on merit, proven need, program goals (such as diversity), and scholarship availability. Priority is given to the residency period in Hawai’i, as well as supporting participants from under-represented countries in the Asia Pacific region in line with the mission of the EWC. Almost all supplemental awards are partial scholarships.


All APLP fellows are encouraged to find their own funding. In the past, the majority of APLP participants have been partially or fully funded by employers, government agencies, NGOs, fellowships, minority scholarships, and other external sources, including sponsors and family support; or participants have been self-funded.


Only after we review your application, and if you are accepted into the Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP), do we then award supplemental scholarships.


For further details on specific supplemental scholarships, please see the Scholarships listings page. This information varies from year to year and is always subject to change.


Q Must I live at the East-West Center in order to participate in the APLP?


A During the First Term (August - December), the answer is yes. Living in an East-West Center residence hall, either Hale Manoa or Hale Kuahine, is required. Building a living and learning community is an integral part of the EWC experience. The EWC is unique among international institutions in its focus on community building at the campus level as a stepping-stone to community building at the regional level. For more information about housing see the Center’s housing facilities web page (see


During the Second Term, if you are living in Hawai‘i, you may live off campus. However, it has been our experience that participants choose to remain on campus. East-West Center accommodation is inexpensive (by Hawai‘i standards), very convenient, and you have direct access to a rich community life, as well all UHM and EWC facilities and personnel.


Q What are the EWC residence halls like?


AThere are two main buildings: Hale Manoa and Hale Kuahine. Hale Manoa is 12-stories high, while Hale Kuahine is a smaller, quieter, low-rise building. There are options for all-male units, all-female units, or co-educational (mixed) units. All units have shared bathroom facilities. There are two handicapped accessible rooms in Hale Manoa.


Q What sort of cooking facilities are available for residents?


AEach floor in both residence halls is equipped with a communal kitchen for the use of all residents. The kitchens have multiple stoves and sinks and can be used by a number of people at once. Residents are given their own private cabinets for storage of food and cooking supplies, and space to store private refrigerators if they choose to purchase them.  A communal refrigerator is available to all residents. Local supermarkets, including two excellent health food stores, can be reached by a fifteen-minute walk, or by bus, bike or a weekly shuttle sponsored by the East-West Center.


Q Can I bring my family with me?


A The APLP is an unaccompanied fellowship program.  Due to the intensive nature of the APLP experience in the fall semester, as well as the extended travel by the APLP during Field Studies, it is not possible for spouses and/or children to join participants in Honolulu while the Fall term is in session (August – December).  When the APLP Fellowship is not actively in session, APLP Fellows are welcome to live off-campus and invite friends and family members to visit the island (note: only active program participants may stay in the EWC dorms - friends, spouses and dependents are NOT authorized to reside in the EWC dorms).  APLP Fellows and their guests would be required to independently apply for the appropriate US entry visas, however.  Visitors should apply for a B-2 tourist visa for this purpose.  The East-West Center will not sponsor visas for non-U.S. APLP Fellows who wish to remain in the U.S. for the Second Term (APLP Fellows must make such arrangements independently with a partner organization). The participant is responsible for all costs involved. For safety reasons, the EWC residence halls do not accommodate children, so participants with families must live off-campus in the spring semester.


Q What type of computing and internet facilities are available to participants?


AAll APLP participants receive 24-hour access to the two Burns Hall (the Center’s main building) computer labs which feature sixteen computers, all wired to high-speed internet and all equipped with word processing software and printing services. The University also has multiple computer labs throughout the campus with high-speed internet access.


The EWC residence halls have high-speed internet access in each room. It is highly recommended that participants bring a laptop computer to the East-West Center.The APLP has an intranet communications system called “The Hub”, which is used daily. This can be loaded onto personal laptops or accessed in the EWC computer labs. Hub training is provided.


Q What sort of exercise and athletic facilities are available to participants?


A The University of Hawai'i, Manoa's state-of-the-art exercise facilities, including a large swimming pool, are just a two-minute walk from the EWC campus. The East-West Center is also a short walk from UHM tennis courts and a nearby park with tennis and basketball courts. In addition, Hawai'i's mild weather and beautiful landscapes offer ample opportunity for ocean swimming, cycling, surfing, paddling, hiking, jogging and other forms of outdoor recreation. Using public transportation, participants can reach numerous beaches; the EWC is located only 3 miles from Waikiki Beach.


Q Do I need a passport?


A Yes, a valid passport is required for all participants including United States citizens. Non-U.S. participants will need passports to enter the U.S. and all participants will need passports to participate in the Field Studies. If you are accepted into the program and do not have a passport, please apply for one now. As a general rule, your passport must be valid for at leastsix months beyond the ending date of your APLP program. If you need a new passport, please apply for it now.


Q Must I enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa?


ANon-U.S. participants are expected to enter the U.S. under the J-1 (exchange visitor) visa sponsorship of the East-West Center. The Center will provide the necessary documents for the J-1 visa application. Application for a J-1 visa is made at a US Consulate, usually in your home country.


Exception:Non-U.S. participants currently in the U.S. on an F-1 visa may participate in the APLP for their optional practical training (OPT) component.  Full-time, active University of Hawai‘i students on F-1 visas may also be eligible to enroll in the APLP in the fall semester if they can receive written permission from their current UH degree program/UH-International Student Services Office, or possibly after graduation while on optional practical training (OPT) without changing their F-1 visa status, provided that their EWC participation is for a period of less than six months.


Q What are the terms of the J-1 visa?


APlease see the document entitled “Terms and Conditions of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program” on the APLP website.


Q If accepted into the program, do I make my own travel arrangements to Honolulu?


A Yes.


Q What if I have a summer job or internship or summer school class or a family wedding that would cause me to arrive late for APLP?


A Please reapply for the APLP the following year. No exceptions will be made for late arrivals.


Q Can I work during the APLP?


A APLP fellows will not receive authorization to work during the First Term of APLP (August – December). The program workload is too intense. You will not be able to sustain a full load of APLP classes, field studies, outside class projects and activities, as well as a job. You will also not be able to participate fully in the EWC community and the APLP experience.


  Q By when must I pay the EWC Program Fees?


A EWC Program Fees will be due by August 29, 2016. Failure to pay the program fee by this date will result in dismissal from the program and termination of the EWC Award agreement.