Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

Detailed information about this program is shown below.
Program Description:
2018 Bonderman logo

LSA Bonderman Fellowship


Picture of Bonderman FellowThe Bonderman Fellowship offers four graduating seniors in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan the chance to travel internationally for eight months. Each spring, four fellows receive $20,000 to travel to at least six countries in two regions of the world, where they will immerse themselves in independent and enriching explorations.

David Bonderman traveled internationally as a Sheldon Fellow after graduating from Harvard Law School in the 1960s, an experience that shaped the rest of his life. In order to provide students with a similar opportunity, Mr. Bonderman created the Bonderman Travel Fellowship at the University of Washington in 1995. In 2014-15, the Bonderman Family decided to offer a similar fellowship at the University of Michigan to four graduating seniors from the College of Literature, Science & the Arts. 

Bonderman Fellows will engage with cultures, people, and areas of the world with which they are not familiar, providing an opportunity to develop a new global outlook on life. Fellows make their own travel itineraries and explore the world independently. Since this is meant to be an individual experience, Bonderman Fellows cannot engage in formal study at a
foreign university, conduct formal research, or travel with a guest or organized group for longer than ten days.

Information Sessions

Info sessions for the 2019-2020 application season begin in October!

Wednesday, October 10th, 12-1pm
Michigan League: Koessler

Tuesday, October 23rd, 5-6pm
Palmer Commons: Great Lakes South

Tuesday, November 6th, 12-1pm
Michigan League: Koessler

Tuesday, November 27th, 5-6pm
Palmer Commons: Great Lakes North

Friday, December 7th, 12-1pm
Michigan League: Henderson

Tuesday, January 15th, 5-6pm
Palmer Commons: Great Lakes South

Interested? Register Here (Registration is not mandatory to attend)

Office Hours

Walk-in advising hours will be held beginning in October. Starting on Friday, October 5, open advising are every Tuesday from 3-4 pm and every Friday at 10-11 am in Weiser Hall, Suite 200, unless a holiday or otherwise noted. 

2018 - 2019 Fellows:

Follow the Fellows on their journey at or on Instagram via @LSABonderman. They left in August for their travels abroad!

Shruti Arora

Major: Neuroscience and Evolutionary Anthropology
Tentative Itinerary: Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal, India, South Africa, Zambia, Morocco, Greece, Croatia, Ukraine


Ivy Augustine

Major: English and German
Tentative Itinerary: China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa, Madagascar


Chetali Jain

Major: Microbiology
Tentative Itinerary: Japan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador


Alexis Jones

Major: Biochemistry
Tentative Itinerary: Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece

Non-Traditional Fellows:

Mackenzie McIntyre
Jamal Jenkins
Stephen Dowker

Previous Fellows:

2017 Cohort
Kelly O'Donnel
Ji Ye

2016 Cohort
Scott Haber
Dillon Kim
Kepriah Davis

2015 Cohort
Christian Bashi
Harleen Kaur
Catherine Huang

2014 Cohort
Louis Mirante
Tyler Mesman
Erin Busbee
Ashline Hermiz


  • Students in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor campus (must have an LSA major)
  • Graduating seniors – December 2018 or May 2019 graduates (Sp/Su 2019 graduates will be evaluated on a case by case basis)
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident 

Application Procedures

Detailed application requirements will be provided when you begin your application through MCompass.

Application materials include:

  • A supplemental questionnaire regarding proposed fellowship details
  • A trip itinerary with a list of countries and estimated dates for your proposed trip
  • An estimated budget for your trip
  • Three Essay Questions:
    • Why do you want this fellowship? What challenges do you expect to face? How will this experience impact you as a person?   (1,500 words or less)
    • Please provide an example of a situation in which you went out of your comfort zone. What lessons can you draw from these experiences that may be useful during your Bonderman Fellowship? (500 words or less)
    • Please describe a time when you faced adversity and/or were not in control of your surroundings. How did you handle this situation and what was the result?  (500 words or less)
  • One (1) online recommendation through MCompass (does NOT need to be UM Faculty or staff member)


All application materials are due Thursday January 31, 2019 at 11:59 PM. Final decisions will be made by Monday, March 4, 2019.

Contact Information

For more information about the fellowship or to be added to our e-mail list, please email the Program Assistant, Callie Rouse, at

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Academic Year 2019-2020 01/31/2019 03/04/2019 TBA TBA