Project Pengyou Leadership Fellows Program
Frequently Asked Questions



1. Who is eligible to apply?

Current students at a U.S. university, community college or high school (graduate students also eligible) with experience studying or living in both the U.S. and China.

2. Are students who’ve studied in Taiwan and Hong Kong also eligible for the Leadership Fellows Program?

Yes, the Leadership Fellows Program is inclusive of all of Greater China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong.

3. Is there an age limit?

There is no age limit for this program, however preference will be given to current students. Past fellows have been undergraduate, graduate and high school students. We seek fellows who can commit to at least one year and have strong ties in their campus to build a strong community of US-China bridge-builders at their school.

4. I’m not currently enrolled with any academic institution. Can I still apply?

We do require an enrollment at a local school or university.

5. Are international (non-American) students eligible to apply for the Leadership Fellows Program?

Yes! Americans, Chinese or other international students are all eligible, provided the applicant has experience living/working/studying in both the United States and China.

6. I’m not currently in the US, can I still apply to be a Project Pengyou Leadership Fellow at my school?

Currently, we are only accepting applications from students at US colleges, universities and high schools.

7. My school already has an established Chapter but I’m not sure it’s still active, and I’m interested in the Leadership Fellows Program. Can I still apply?

Yes. Please contact us at as we will examine these requests on a case-by-case basis.

8. I’m a leadership team member for an established Chapter. Do I still need to apply?

Yes. Current Chapter leaders are highly encouraged to apply to become a Project Pengyou Leadership Fellow. Going through this training with other new Fellows is often an illuminating process, and can only strengthen and grow your Chapter.

9.  I am a Chapter member at an established Chapter, but not yet a Chapter leader; can I still apply to be a Project Pengyou Leadership Fellow?

To maintain congruency of the existing Chapter leadership, we require that only current Chapter leaders apply to become a Project Pengyou Leadership Fellow. We encourage you to seek a position of leadership in the current Chapter team before applying.



10. What are the criteria by which Leadership Fellows are chosen?

a. Passion for Mission: We seek to recruit passionate and highly committed individuals with enthusiasm for Project Pengyou’s mission to promote constructive China exchanges.

b. Leadership and Grassroots Organizing Potential: We seek candidates that demonstrate a track record of excellence and high potential for community leadership, public speaking, and event coordination.

c. Diversity and Representation: We seek to build a nationwide and diverse network of community leaders for our missions. In general, we will be looking to balance applicants coming from under-represented areas such as from the South and Midwest, and those coming from cities with many China engagement opportunities (like Washington, DC and New York City). One of our goals in the future is to leverage Pengyou Chapters to help underserved and under-privileged students to learn Mandarin and gain the opportunity to study abroad in China.

d. Critical Mass: A high number of applications from a particular school or program will increase the chances that students from that school or program will be selected. This is because we are seeking candidates from regions and programs where there is a higher likelihood of early success for the community-building efforts in support of our missions, even after the four-day summit.

11. If I am unable to make it for the full duration of the summit, should I still apply?

No. Fellows must commit to arrive in Cambridge, MA by the evening of September 14 and participate in the summit at Harvard in its entirety from September 15-18, 2017. The last session will require full attendance by all fellows, and will end around 5PM on September 18th.

12. How many fellows can be chosen from each state or school?

Up to three people may be chosen from each state. The more Leadership Fellow applications that come from your city and institution, the greater your chances are of receiving a Pengyou Fellowship.

This is because we are looking for indications that you will have community-level leadership and support for our missions, even after the four-day summit, and thus a higher likelihood of building a successful chapter for China engagement.

Our goal is to build a Project Pengyou Chapter across all 50 states by the end of 2017.

13. I tried to complete my online profile on, but my profile completion percentage can’t seem to go above 75%. What should I do?

Your profile calculation is based on the number of fields filled versus the number of fields left blank. Here are a few ways to increase your profile completion percentage:

  • Online Presence: You may enter N.A. in the fields where you have no online presence, which will count towards your profile completion.
  • Select an industry: Even if you are still a student, you can select “Education”
  • Profile headline: Just enter a short description of yourself in 140 characters or less
  • Education: Make sure to include all schools and China program affiliations
  • Work Experience: If you haven’t had professional work experience, you can also include your volunteer experience
  • Photo: Ensure that you have submitted a profile photo. Please note that member profiles on will be reviewed as part of the selection procedure for the Leadership Fellows Program. Applicants who have not completed at least 75% of their online profile on will not be considered



14. What is a Project Pengyou Chapter?

Project Pengyou Chapters are student organizations at US high schools, colleges and universities led by trained Leadership Fellows who have lived and/or studied in both countries. They serve as advocates to fight xenophobia and promote inclusion, collaboration and mutual understanding between Americans and Chinese. Chapter leaders organize events and activities that develop cross-cultural competence and friendship through constructive and empathetic US-China discussions, activities, and campaigns. Currently, all chapters participate in two national campaigns: Pengyou Day and Pay it Forward on Chinese New Year. Chapter activities develop leaders with strong organizing skills and China knowledge.

15. What is the make-up of a Project Pengyou Chapter?

Each chapter is made up of a Leadership Team, Advisory Council and members.

a) Leadership Team (consists of the President, Vice President, Marketing/PR Chair, Finance & Logistics Chair, and Online Community Resources Chair)

Chapter Leaders are officially recognized as part of Project Pengyou’s National Leadership Network. In addition to developing personal leadership skills and friendships as organizers of their school chapter, individuals will also have opportunities to connect and share resources with like-minded Pengyou organizers from across the country through online training and exclusive leadership meetings during the year.

16. What do Project Pengyou Chapters do?

Project Pengyou Chapters follow the guiding principles of building bridges, developing leadership, and paying it forward. Chapters also help to coordinate our nationwide Project Pengyou Signature Events.

Project Pengyou Signature Events


  • Pengyou Day – A day of massive action and grassroots events to promote US-China study, engagement, and friendship (November 16, 2017)


  • Pay-it-forward on Chinese New Year: Chapters develop a local service project to give back to the community


  • Chapter Reunion and Learning Conference: Bringing all chapters together in a nationwide leadership reunion and learning exchange
  • Pengyou Yearbooks & Annual Report Releases – Chapters showcase their accomplishments to maintain increased sustainability and growth

17. What is the role of Chinese nationals in Project Pengyou Chapters?

Chinese students are encouraged to participate in Project Pengyou chapter activities. We encourage Project Pengyou chapter leaders to actively work in collaboration with Chinese student organizations and other China-focused groups to host events that foster mutual understanding between Americans and Chinese.


Project Pengyou Guiding Principles

  • Actively build bridges

With a focus on the US-China relationship, Project Pengyou chapters develop content and activities that:

    • Promote nuanced and constructive ways to understand China
    • Cultivate empathy and understanding between Americans and Chinese through shared stories and constructive dialogue
    • Deepen China knowledge amongst Americans
    • Connect with organizations that have shared interests in China, recruiting them to participate in Project Pengyou’s campaigns
    • Encourage more Americans to study abroad in China
  • Develop leadership of US-China bridge-builders

Chapter Leaders are expected to serve as grassroots organizers and leaders, and develop others in the chapter as leaders, thus building their capacity to grow and achieve Project Pengyou’s missions.

  • Pay it forward

We believe in the importance of giving back and empowering others in the community. Here are some examples of ways to pay it forward:

    • Share stories to inspire more Americans to study abroad in China
    • Serve as tutors and mentors to empower others to be US-China bridge-builders
    • Expand opportunity for the underprivileged or underserved through fundraising for scholarships to study in China