Humphrey Fellowship Program

The Humphrey Fellowship Program provides mid-career professionals from designated countries – including Eritrea – with an opportunity to enhance their professional capacities through participation in specialized 10-month non-degree programs developed specifically for small clusters of Humphrey Fellows at selected U.S. universities.

The Humphrey Program was launched in 1978 to honor the memory and accomplishments of the late U.S. Senator and Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey.

Program Objective

During their year-long stay at a host American university, Humphrey Fellows are invited to take graduate courses relevant to their professional interests. However, as the Humphrey Fellowship is not a degree program, participants spend a considerable portion of their time engaged in professional development activities including: consultations and affiliations with U.S. faculty and experts, field trips, workshops, research projects and the development of practical useful strategies that could be applied in the Fellows’ home countries.

General Information

Fields of Study
The Public Affairs Office of the U.S. Embassy in Eritrea offers to qualified Eritreans Humphrey Fellowship opportunities in the following fields:

  • Sustainable Development
    a. Agricultural and Rural Development
    b. Economic Development/Finance and Banking
    c. Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, and Climate Change
    d. Urban and Regional Planning
  • Democratic Institution Building
    a. Communications/Journalism
    b. Law and Human Rights
    c. Public Policy Analysis and Public Administration
    d. Trafficking in Persons Policy and Prevention
    e. Technology Policy and Management
    f. Human Resource Management
  • Education
    a. Educational Administration, Planning and Policy
    b. Higher Education Administration
    c. Teaching of English as a Foreign Language
  • Public Health
    a. Public Health Policy and Management
    b. HIV/AIDS Policy and Prevention
    c. Substance Abuse Education, Prevention, and Treatment

General Fellowship Requirements

  • Candidates must hold at least a first-level university degree (equivalent to a B.A. or B.S.) to enable them to undertake graduate level study in the U.S.
  • Candidates must be proficient in English as measured by the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), with a minimum score of 525 in the PBT version or 195 in the CBT version of the test.
  • Humphrey Fellows are expected to be resourceful and display initiative. Their applications should indicate how they and their home institutions and countries could benefit from experiences to be acquired under the program.

Specific Eligibility Requirements

Prospective applicants must:

  • Be a residents and a citizens of Eritrea.
  • Be a graduate of an accredited university or college and hold a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  • Have a minimum of five years of substantial professional experience.
  • Show leadership ability and broadly defined commitment to public service.
  • Be proficient in English.
  • Be committed to returning to Eritrea after completing the program.

Those Ineligible for Consideration Include:

  • Recent university graduates (even if they hold significant positions).
  • University teachers with no management or policy responsibilities, except for teachers of English as a Foreign Language and specialists in drug abuse prevention and treatment.
  • Individuals who have attended a graduate school in the U.S. for one academic year or more during the seven years prior to the date of application.
  • Individuals with recent U.S. educational or work experience (more than six months during the five years prior to the date of application).
  • Individuals with dual U.S. citizenship or U.S. permanent resident status may not apply to the program as they are ineligible for a J visa.

Program Calendar

The dates given here are approximate.

  • Announcement of the Program – April – June
  • Deadline for Application –   August 30
  • English Proficiency Test – October – November
  • Pre-selected candidates are interviewed in English by the Selection Committee – September
  • Interviewees are notified of the interview results – September
  • Registration for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) – September
  • Announcement of awards of Fellowships – February of the following year
  • Pre-departure orientation for grantees – July – August
  • Fellowships begin – August – September

The Humphrey Program provides the following benefits:

The Fellowship provides for:

  • Payment of tuition and fees at the assigned host university;
  • Pre-academic English language training, if required;
  • A maintenance (living) allowance, including a one-time settling-in allowance;
  • Accident and sickness coverage;
  • A book allowance;
  • A one-time computer subsidy;
  • Air travel (international travel to and from the U.S. for the Program and domestic travel to required program events);
  • A Professional Development allowance for professional activities, such as field trips, professional visits and conferences.


In order to make sure that Eritrea continues to receive the benefits of the exchange program, U.S. visa requirements state that visitors under an exchange program return to and remain in ERITREA FOR A MINIMUM PERIOD OF TWO YEARS AFTER COMPLETION OF THEIR PROGRAMS. The Commission will assist grantees in obtaining visas for their spouses and minor children, though the grantees are responsible for their living expenses.

Applicants should submit their application online no later than August 30.  Application available at: Humphrey Application.


For questions about the application process, write to us here: