Professional Development Professional Development
APLP Frequently Asked Questions APLP Frequently Asked Questions

This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about the Asia Pacific Leadership Program. Please click on the questions below to view the answers. If you have any questions that are not answered below or on our website, please contact us at [email protected].


Application and Review Process

I am reapplying for the program-do I have to resubmit my application?
Yes, applicants must submit an application for each new competition year. This provides an opportunity to re-work and update the contents of an application and supplemental documents, ensuring that relevant information is up to date and reflects an applicant’s most recent achievements. All completed applications are reviewed by a selection committee and evaluated equally regardless of the number of times an applicant may have submitted an application.

How do I submit an application?
Visit the APLP page and click the red 'Apply' button. Applications must be completed through the online platform, Submittable. If you are having trouble accessing or using Submittable, please contact them at [email protected] or [email protected]. Application period is from September-November.

How do I submit a letter of reference?
Instructions with a link to the Letter of Reference form will be automatically sent to your referee upon the submission of your application. We suggest contacting your referee prior to the submission of your application to let them know that a request for a Letter of Reference will come from Submittable, the APLP online application platform. The program DOES NOT accept Letters of Reference directly from applicants. One reference submission from is needed to complete your application. If your referee requires assistance at any time, please have them contact us at [email protected]g.

I have submitted my application; what are the next steps?
Upon completion of your application (which includes the submission of one reference form), your application will be marked 'Complete' in our online application system, Submittable; you will receive notification of this. Your application will then be reviewed by a committee and you may be contacted for an online video interview. You will be notified of your application's status once the review process is complete. If you are offered a position in the APLP, a series of pre-arrival messages will follow via email. These communications will contain details pertaining to additional forms, requests for information, and arrival procedures, including the visa application process.


Program Details

When is the deadline to pay the APLP EWC Program Fee?
The deadline to submit payment for program fees is usually the first day of the program. Failure to pay the program fee by this date will result in dismissal from the program and termination of the EWC Participation Agreement. Please refer to your Participation Agreement for more information.

I have obligations which will cause my late arrival in Hawai‘i; is this acceptable?
No, the APLP is an intensive program and important information pertaining to the program is laid out in the first two weeks of the program. If you are unable to arrive in Hawaii by the start of the in-residence portion of the program, please reapply for the APLP the following year. No exceptions will be made for late arrivals.

Can I work during the APLP?
In the weeks leading up to the in-residence portion of the program and during the post-residency, fellows are able to continue employment due to engagements being virtual. However, during the in-residence portion of the program, APLP fellows will not receive authorization to work due to the program's intense workload. 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.

Can I take classes at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa while enrolled in the APLP?
Elective classes are not permitted. The APLP is an extremely intensive, full-time experience; it is NOT like taking normal graduate courses. Aside from individual coursework, the program involves collaborative projects and multiple activities outside the classroom, including field trips, evening lectures, weekend exercises, and off-campus conferences.

Can I bring my family with me?
The APLP is an unaccompanied fellowship program. Due to the intensive nature of the APLP experience, for safety and liability reasons, as well as potential travel, it is not possible for spouses and/or children to join participants at any time during in-residence portion of the program (June-August). When the APLP Fellowship is not actively in session (i.e. either immediately prior to or after the in-residence portion) and in accordance with any visa stipulations, 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). Visitors would be required to independently apply for the appropriate US entry visas, however. The East-West Center will not sponsor visas for non-U.S. APLP Fellows  (APLP Fellows must make such arrangements independently with a partner organization). The participant is responsible for all costs involved.


Financial Assistance / Supplemental Scholarships

Is financial assistance available for APLP fellows?
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.

A number of East-West Center funding opportunities are available to cover some supplemental costs of participation in the APLP (accommodation, program expenses). However, these supplemental scholarships are competitive and require submission of the completed Request for Scholarships section on the application. Supplemental funds are awarded based on merit, proven need, program goals (such as diversity), and scholarship availability. Priority is given to 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.

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


Visas & Transportation

Do I need a passport?
Yes, all non-US participants will need passports to enter the US If the APLP includes an overseas Field Study, US participants will need passports. 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 least six months beyond the ending date of your APLP program. If you need a new passport, please apply for it now.

Must I enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa?
Non-U.S. participants are expected to enter the US 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 Embassy or Consulate, usually in your home country.

What are the terms of the J-1 visa?
Please see the document entitled “Terms and Conditions of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program”.

If accepted into the program, do I make my own travel arrangements to Honolulu?
Yes. The program does not cover arrival and departure travel. All travel arrangements and costs are at the participant's expense.


Life at the East-West Center (EWC)

The East-West Center Participant Information website contains detailed information about life at the Center, including everything from dining options to activities in Hawai‘i.

Are fellows required to live in EWC residence halls during the program?

During the in-residence portion, yes. Living in an East-West Center residence hall, either Hale Mānoa 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 website.

What are the EWC residence halls like?
There are two main buildings: Hale Mānoa and Hale Kuahine. Hale Mānoa 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 disabled-friendly accessible rooms in Hale Mānoa.

What sort of cooking facilities are available for residents?
Each floor in both residence halls is equipped with a communal kitchen. 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, as well as 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 or bike.

What computing and internet facilities are available to participants?
All APLP participants will have access to the two Burns Hall (the Center’s main building) computer labs, all wired to high-speed internet and all equipped with word processing software and paid self-service printing. 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

What sort of exercise and athletic facilities are available to participants?
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's state-of-the-art exercise facilities, including a gym, basketball court, and 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 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.


This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about the Asia Pacific Leadership Program. Please click on the questions below to view the answers. If you have any questions that are not answered below or on our website, please contact us at [email protected].


Application and Review Process

I am reapplying for the program-do I have to resubmit my application?
Yes, applicants must submit an application for each new competition year. This provides an opportunity to re-work and update the contents of an application and supplemental documents, ensuring that relevant information is up to date and reflects an applicant’s most recent achievements. All completed applications are reviewed by a selection committee and evaluated equally regardless of the number of times an applicant may have submitted an application.

How do I submit an application?
Visit the APLP page and click the red 'Apply' button. Applications must be completed through the online platform, Submittable. If you are having trouble accessing or using Submittable, please contact them at [email protected] or [email protected]. Application period is from September-November.

How do I submit a letter of reference?
Instructions with a link to the Letter of Reference form will be automatically sent to your referee upon the submission of your application. We suggest contacting your referee prior to the submission of your application to let them know that a request for a Letter of Reference will come from Submittable, the APLP online application platform. The program DOES NOT accept Letters of Reference directly from applicants. One reference submission from is needed to complete your application. If your referee requires assistance at any time, please have them contact us at [email protected]g.

I have submitted my application; what are the next steps?
Upon completion of your application (which includes the submission of one reference form), your application will be marked 'Complete' in our online application system, Submittable; you will receive notification of this. Your application will then be reviewed by a committee and you may be contacted for an online video interview. You will be notified of your application's status once the review process is complete. If you are offered a position in the APLP, a series of pre-arrival messages will follow via email. These communications will contain details pertaining to additional forms, requests for information, and arrival procedures, including the visa application process.


Program Details

When is the deadline to pay the APLP EWC Program Fee?
The deadline to submit payment for program fees is usually the first day of the program. Failure to pay the program fee by this date will result in dismissal from the program and termination of the EWC Participation Agreement. Please refer to your Participation Agreement for more information.

I have obligations which will cause my late arrival in Hawai‘i; is this acceptable?
No, the APLP is an intensive program and important information pertaining to the program is laid out in the first two weeks of the program. If you are unable to arrive in Hawaii by the start of the in-residence portion of the program, please reapply for the APLP the following year. No exceptions will be made for late arrivals.

Can I work during the APLP?
In the weeks leading up to the in-residence portion of the program and during the post-residency, fellows are able to continue employment due to engagements being virtual. However, during the in-residence portion of the program, APLP fellows will not receive authorization to work due to the program's intense workload. 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.

Can I take classes at the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa while enrolled in the APLP?
Elective classes are not permitted. The APLP is an extremely intensive, full-time experience; it is NOT like taking normal graduate courses. Aside from individual coursework, the program involves collaborative projects and multiple activities outside the classroom, including field trips, evening lectures, weekend exercises, and off-campus conferences.

Can I bring my family with me?
The APLP is an unaccompanied fellowship program. Due to the intensive nature of the APLP experience, for safety and liability reasons, as well as potential travel, it is not possible for spouses and/or children to join participants at any time during in-residence portion of the program (June-August). When the APLP Fellowship is not actively in session (i.e. either immediately prior to or after the in-residence portion) and in accordance with any visa stipulations, 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). Visitors would be required to independently apply for the appropriate US entry visas, however. The East-West Center will not sponsor visas for non-U.S. APLP Fellows  (APLP Fellows must make such arrangements independently with a partner organization). The participant is responsible for all costs involved.


Financial Assistance / Supplemental Scholarships

Is financial assistance available for APLP fellows?
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.

A number of East-West Center funding opportunities are available to cover some supplemental costs of participation in the APLP (accommodation, program expenses). However, these supplemental scholarships are competitive and require submission of the completed Request for Scholarships section on the application. Supplemental funds are awarded based on merit, proven need, program goals (such as diversity), and scholarship availability. Priority is given to 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.

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


Visas & Transportation

Do I need a passport?
Yes, all non-US participants will need passports to enter the US If the APLP includes an overseas Field Study, US participants will need passports. 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 least six months beyond the ending date of your APLP program. If you need a new passport, please apply for it now.

Must I enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa?
Non-U.S. participants are expected to enter the US 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 Embassy or Consulate, usually in your home country.

What are the terms of the J-1 visa?
Please see the document entitled “Terms and Conditions of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program”.

If accepted into the program, do I make my own travel arrangements to Honolulu?
Yes. The program does not cover arrival and departure travel. All travel arrangements and costs are at the participant's expense.


Life at the East-West Center (EWC)

The East-West Center Participant Information website contains detailed information about life at the Center, including everything from dining options to activities in Hawai‘i.

Are fellows required to live in EWC residence halls during the program?

During the in-residence portion, yes. Living in an East-West Center residence hall, either Hale Mānoa 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 website.

What are the EWC residence halls like?
There are two main buildings: Hale Mānoa and Hale Kuahine. Hale Mānoa 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 disabled-friendly accessible rooms in Hale Mānoa.

What sort of cooking facilities are available for residents?
Each floor in both residence halls is equipped with a communal kitchen. 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, as well as 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 or bike.

What computing and internet facilities are available to participants?
All APLP participants will have access to the two Burns Hall (the Center’s main building) computer labs, all wired to high-speed internet and all equipped with word processing software and paid self-service printing. 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

What sort of exercise and athletic facilities are available to participants?
The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's state-of-the-art exercise facilities, including a gym, basketball court, and 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 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.