Frequently-Asked Questions: Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan



Q. Who is eligible and what are the eligible countries? 
The Pacific Island Leadership Program (PILP) with Taiwan is intended for individuals from the following countries who have a deep interest in leadership training and promoting peace and prosperity in the Pacific Islands region: Citizens of the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are eligible to apply.

Q. I was born in the Pacific Islands and grew up there, but now I am a U.S. citizen and live in the U.S. Am I eligible for PILP?
U.S. citizens are not eligible for PILP; however, the East-West Center offers a leadership program that is open to U.S. citizens. It is called Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP). To learn more about this program, please visit Once you review the website, if you have questions, please write to:  

Q. Am I eligible to apply for PILP if I am a dual citizen of the US and one of the Pacific Island countries listed in the PILP application materials?
If you have dual citizenship in both the US and a Pacific Island country, your current country of residency is the determining factor regarding eligibility. If your residency is in the US, you would not be eligible for consideration for PILP. Alternatively, as a dual citizen, you are eligible to apply to the Asia Pacific Leadership Program, irrespective of your respective status. Please visit for more information. 

Q. Is there a work experience requirement?
The program is seeking individuals with a minimum of two (2) years of significant work experience, and who are committed to a career in the Pacific Islands region. 

Q. Is there an education level qualification?
Applicants will normally have a Bachelor’s degree; exceptions may be considered on the basis of other relevant experience and qualifications. 

Q. Is there any age criteria?
The program is intended to build a network of young leaders and is aimed at early- to mid-career professionals, spanning the ages of approximately 25-38. 

Q.  Are there any additional qualifications?
Desirable qualifications include:

  • Leadership track record in professional, public, and/or personal realms
  • International experience and aptitude, including overseas residence, language skills, intercultural and diversity exposure
  • Volunteer and community service experience
  • Pacific Island region engagement: evidence of interest in and knowledge of the region, as well as commitment to its future prosperity. This might include employment in the region, classes taken at University, languages spoken, memberships and fellowships, specific projects, field studies, and areas of research interest
  • Experience of cohort learning, working collaboratively in small teams or in large groups leadership track record in professional, public and/or personal realms; volunteer and community service experience


Q. In what language will the program be conducted?
PILP will be conducted in English, and participants will be expected to have English language fluency.

Q. The Pacific Islands Leadership Program (PILP) with Taiwan is a three-month program with a full time residency requirement in Hawaii and Taiwan. Please explain what this means.
The PILP is a three-month program which takes place at the East-West Center in Honolulu and the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs in Taipei, Taiwan.  The tentative schedule for the 2016 PILP Fellowship is August 15 through October 22, 2016.  All PILP Fellows maintain a full time residency requirement in Hawai‘i and Taiwan continuously during this period. This means participants will travel to Honolulu from their home countries and will live for approximately two months in Honolulu at the East-West Center and approximately one month in Taipei for the Taiwan-based segment of the program.  At the end of the program, PILP participants will return to their home countries from Taipei.

Q. Could you describe more details about the program curriculum?
During the three month program, participants will be involved in intensive coursework and experiential learning and living within diverse communities. The program content focuses on three areas: 1) understanding regional issues and trends that impact the Pacific Islands region, Asia and the U.S.; 2) personal leadership development; and 3) networking and professional development.


Q. I see that the deadline is February 1, 2016.  What if I miss the deadline? 
Applications received by February 1, 2016 will receive full consideration.  Applications received thereafter may be considered on a space-available basis at the discretion of the selection committee, but are generally not accepted.  Incomplete applications will be not reviewed.

Q. When will I learn if I am accepted into the program?
Applicants will be notified by May 15, 2016, about the results.

Q. I will not be able to apply for the program this year.  Is this the only year the program will be offered, or will it be offered again in the future?
This is the fourth year of the program.  PILP will be offered again for a total of five years or five cohorts of participants.

Q. What do I need to submit with my application?
First, review all of the instructions on for an overview of the program and understanding of the application process. You can download the application materials and checklist from the website. The following items are needed to complete your application:

  • Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan Application form (2 pages)
  • Cover Letter
  • Essay (see the application form for the required essay questions)
  • Curriculum Vitae (resume)
  • Three (3) Letters of Reference, in envelopes sealed by the Reference Author
  • If available, Official Transcript from each higher educational institution attended (in an envelope sealed by the school). A photocopy will be acceptable during the review phase.
  • If available, English language test score report (for example, IELTS or TOEFL). A photocopy will be acceptable during the review phase.

Q. Where shall I send my application materials?
All documents should be sent directly to the East-West Center using ONE of the following methods:

1)  Email all completed, signed application forms to:

* Forms submitted via email must follow all instructions, including the requirement of handwritten signatures (typed or electronic signatures are not permitted).

2)  Post directly to the East-West Center (postmarked by the deadline) at the following address:

East-West Center
Award Services Office/Attention: PILP
John A. Burns Hall, Room 2066
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96848-1601 USA
Telephone: 808.944.7524



Q. Is financial assistance available for PILP fellows?
All PILP participants are granted a fellowship.  The PILP fellowship offers the following provisions:

  • Roundtrip airfare between home country and Honolulu
  • Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Taipei
  • Tuition and course materials
  • Residence room costs
  • Health insurance
  • Living stipend during the three-month program 
Q. What is the monthly stipend amount for a PILP participant?
The monthly stipend during PILP is approximately US $1,000 per month to assist with meals and incidental expenses. (Note: Your housing costs at EWC and in Taiwan will be paid for by the program, and does not come out of your stipend.) 

Q. Are there provisions for my family?
No, the fellowship does not cover provisions for family.  The stipend is set at a level to cover the cost of meals and incidental expenses for the participant during the three-month period. 

Q. Can I bring my family with me?
Due to the intensive nature of the PILP experience, extensive travel and living accommodations, we regret that we cannot sponsor or invite spouses and/or children to join the participant during PILP. The PILP Fellowship is strictly an unaccompanied program.

Q. Can I work during the PILP?
Due to the intensive nature of the PILP experience, extensive travel and living accommodations, it is not possible for participants to engage in any outside work or courses during PILP. 


Q. Must I live at the East-West Center in order to participate in the PILP?
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 PILP 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, visit:

Q. What are the EWC residence halls like?
There are two main buildings: Hale Manoa and Hale Kuahine. Hale Manoa is 12-stories high, while Hale Kuahine is a smaller, low-rise building. There are options for all-male units, all-female units, or co-educational (mixed) units. All units have shared bathroom facilities. All units have shared kitchens. There are two handicapped accessible rooms in Hale Manoa.  Other residents in the buildings are visiting scholars and graduate students from more than 50 countries who offer a supportive community and opportunities for informal dialogue, intercultural exchange and activities.

Q. What sort of cooking facilities are available for residents?
Both residence halls are equipped with communal kitchens 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 shuttle.  There are many dining options within walking distance, on the University of Hawaii campus as well as neighborhood restaurants and cafes for those who prefer not to cook.

Q. If I do not cook, are there affordable and convenient dining options nearby?
There are a number of dining options on/near the East-West Center Campus and the University of Hawaii.  Visit the following link for details:

Additional dining options are available in the neighborhoods within walking distance to the East-West Center.  For a sampling, visit:

Q. What type of computing and internet facilities are available to participants?
All PILP participants receive 24-hour access to the Burns Hall (the Center’s main administrative building) with a computer lab wired to high-speed internet and equipped with word processing software and printing services. The EWC residence halls have high-speed internet access in each room. It is highly recommended that participants bring a laptop computer and Ethernet cable with them when joining PILP, if possible.

Q. What sort of exercise and athletic facilities are available to participants?
As an East-West Center participant with EWC ID card, PILP participants have the option to purchase a membership at the University of Hawaii's state-of-the-art exercise facilities, including a large swimming pool, a two-minute walk from the EWC campus. The East-West Center is also a short walk from University 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 three miles from Waikiki Beach.

Q. What sort of transportation options are available in Honolulu?
Public transportation to/from the East-West Center is convenient and affordable.  For details, visit the following site:


Q. Do I need a passport?
Yes, a valid passport is required for all participants to enter the U.S. and Taiwan.  As a general rule, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the ending date of the program.  (That means your passport should be valid until May 2017.)  If you are accepted into the program and do not have a passport, please apply for one now. 

Q. Must I enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa?
Participants from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu 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 the US Embassy.  If not available in the participant’s home country, visa arrangements will be made at the U.S. embassy that has jurisdiction for the participant’s country.

Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau do not require a visa to enter the U.S.

Q. How do I arrange my visa for travel to Taiwan?
The East-West Center will assist with the Taiwan visa applications and travel arrangements once the participants are in Honolulu, working through the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office located in the city.

Q. If accepted into the program, do I make my own travel arrangements to and from Honolulu?
The East-West Center will coordinate your roundtrip travel between your home country and Honolulu, and the travel between Honolulu and Taiwan.

Q. Where will we live in Taiwan?
PILP participants will be hosted at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs, in Taipei, Taiwan.

If you have questions not covered by this FAQ, please contact Thank you for your interest in the Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan.