Q. I am a citizen of Tunisia (or another developing country), but I am currently living in Japan (or another developed country). Am I eligible to apply?
A. No. Eligible applicants are BOTH citizens of AND currently residing in a developing country. The locations of your citizenship and your current residence may be different countries, but both must be "developing" based on the list of countries eligible for EWRI/ASCE discounted membership (which is based on being eligible for borrowing from the World Bank). If you return to live in your home country or move to reside in another developing country, you are eligible to apply. If you are not eligible to apply, you are still encouraged to submit an abstract and present at the conference if you have the resources to attend.
Q. If I apply, will I receive a fellowship?
A. Not necessarily. The VIF is a competitive program, and not all applicants receive fellowships. We typically receive 10 to 30 applications and award 2 to 4 fellowships, depending on availability of funding.
Q. Must the application be sent via email?
Q. Who fills out the application?
A. Both the applicant and the host can answer the questions on the application.
Q. Will late applications be accepted?
A. No. Applications will be accepted as late as the due date at 11:59 PM in the country of origin.
Q. My abstract is already attached to the application. Do I still need to submit it separately in the Congress website?
A. Yes, and you may also submit a paper approximately 3 months before the Congress date (but papers are not required). See the Congress website for deadlines .
Q. My abstract was accepted to the Congress, but I was not selected for a fellowship. Do I have to attend the Congress?
A. You can attend the Congress if you wish because your abstract was accepted. If you plan not to attend, you must notify the Congress organizers.
Q. Do I have to pay the abstract submission fee?
A. Yes. If you do not have a credit card, please see if your host can help or contact EWRI.
Q. Does the fellowship provide enough monetary funding for the whole trip?
A. No. The fellowship typically provides enough funding for the following: (1) congress registration fee; (2) one-year membership in ASCE or EWRI; and (3) hotel during the week of the congress. The registration fee and membership fee are automatically withheld from the total cash amount given to the fellow at the congress. Expenses typically NOT included are: air travel from foreign country to the U.S.; travel from congress location to host location; and expenses while visiting host.
Q. Will my host pay for expenses not covered by the fellowship?
A. Not necessarily; it depends on the host. Most hosts provide at least partial financial assistance.
Q. If the fellowship does not pay for the entire trip, then who will pay for what is not covered by the fellowship?
A. Additional sources of funding could be the fellow's employer and the fellow's host. Fellows may be able to apply for matching funds from another organization. Some fellows personally fund the remainder of their trip.
Q. As a fellow, what am I required to do during the Congress?
A. Two primary things: (1) participate in an international panel discussion and talk about water resources and environmental issues in your country; and (2) present a 15 to 20-minute talk (using PowerPoint) on the paper submitted to the congress. Additional activities expected of the fellow: (1) attend a reception where the fellow will be awarded with a plaque; (2) meet with other conference attendees and establish new professional relationships; (3) write a report on activities during the fellowship and send to the fellowship committee in June after returning from the Congress.
Q. What activities should I do with my host during the cultural and technical exchange?
A. Usually the host will arrange for the fellow to give a talk to colleagues. Most hosts arrange for tours of relevant water resources and environmental projects. Some hosts and fellows work on existing projects and plan future collaborative activities.
Q. I do not know anybody in the U.S. or Canada who can be my host. Can I still apply for the fellowship?
A. You must have a host who will email the application on your behalf. If you do not have a host, you cannot apply.
Q. I already know someone in the U.S. or Canada with whom I've worked or studied before. Can that person be my host?
A. Yes, as long as he or she is an ASCE or EWRI member located in the U.S. or Canada and is willing to serve as a host.
Q. I vaguely know someone who qualifies as a host. Can I ask that person to be my host?
A. Yes, and that person must be willing to serve as your host and submit the application on your behalf.
Q. How and when do I apply for a visa to enter the U.S. to attend the congress?
A. The fellow must look up information on the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy in his or her country and find out how and when to apply. The Visiting International Fellowship committee will mail a letter to the selected fellow around October or November.
When traveling in the U.S.
Q. How many pieces of luggage can I check in my domestic flights within the U.S.?
A. When traveling by airplane within the U.S. (for example, when going from the Congress to your cultural and technical exchange or when taking a domestic flight between the city of entry and the city of the Congress), the airlines typically charge baggage fees for checked luggage and allow only two pieces of luggage to be checked, not to exceed 50 pounds (23 kilograms) each. Combining the two pieces into one piece exceeding 50 pounds but still below 100 pounds is not equivalent. If you do not comply with that, you may be asked to pay a surcharge of approximately $100 or more.
Q. How many pieces of luggage can I take on board with me in my domestic flights within the U.S.?
A. For domestic flights in the US, many airlines restrict passengers to one piece of carry-on luggage (not to exceed dimensions of 11 inches x 14 inches x 26 inches, or a total of 51 inches [130 cm]) plus one personal item (a purse, a briefcase, or a laptop case). These pieces must fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.
Q. How can I make phone calls to contact my family in my country?
A. Do not make direct calls from the hotel telephone because those calls will be extremely expensive. If you have a cell phone with international call capability, you may use it. One inexpensive option may be to purchase a phone card at a drugstore and use it from your hotel phone by dialing the 1-800 number on the phone card and the printed PIN number.