OCS Launches Summer Fellowship for Seniors

The Office of Career Services has recently launched a new fellowship program supporting Harvard seniors who plan to travel purposefully in Europe during the summer after graduation.

The new program, the Henry Russell Shaw Summer Fellowships, will provide five or more seniors with up to $6,000 for three months of travel in Europe. According to the statement of purpose of the Henry Russell Shaw endowment, the fellowship will aim to “supplement [students’] formal education by broadening and cultivating influence which comes from acquaintance with other countries.”

“Part of the idea behind all of these [fellowships] is that you go immerse yourself in a new culture [and] somehow the process of adjusting, learning a new language and new customs, helps you bounce things around inside,” said Paul A. Bohlmann, director of fellowships at OCS.

Bohlmann said the new fellowship will use left-over funds accumulated in previous years from the Henry Russell Shaw Traveling Fellowships, an endowed program that allows students to travel abroad for a full year.

Seniors with no experience living or studying abroad will be given priority in applying.


According to Bohlmann, the new fellowship will not support study programs or internships, given that resources for such purposes are already abundant at Harvard.

Instead, the office hopes to give students who have had little experience with foreign culture the opportunity to travel for reasons of personal importance.

“We don’t care if it’s kind of frivolous or whimsical—we actually think that might be kind of fun. It can also be fairly serious,” Bohlmann said.

Bohlmann told the story of a recipient of the full-year traveling fellowship who travelled around Europe to experience hip-hop scenes in various cities.

“He was making the case that the origin of hip-hop music in the States may have been mostly in the African-American community, but it’s different in London, in Paris, in Munich, where there are different influences coming into play,” Bohlmann said.

According to Bohlmann, this recipient ended up “talking to DJs, rappers, graffiti artists, and all sorts of people on the streets.”

“It sort of satisfied a long lasting interest for him,” Bohlmann added. “I would call it whimsical, which I don’t mean as a judgmental word. It’s just that it has no purpose or reason except for the person and for us who want to support that.”

— Staff writer Heng Shao can be reached at


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