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Lumos Traveler Shannon Fish in Rwanda

Apply to Lumos


Preparing the Lumos application involves completing the application, preparing three essays and assembling a set of accompanying materials.

Application Due Date: March 15, 2023


Complete the online application below. Be prepared to complete the following in the online application process:

Name of Sponsoring Organization

Proposed Project Location

Proposed Dates of Travel

Budget Amount Requested

Description of the Project: Before writing this section, please review the project eligibility requirements. Note especially that: The proposed project must involve a minimum of eight weeks spent outside the United States; Lumos is not a religious organization and will not consider proposals that are primarily mission-based in nature or purpose.

  • What exactly will you be doing?
  • What are your principal goals/objectives for this project?
  • What are your top three reasons for selecting this project? 

Background Experience: What prior experiences have prepared you for this project? (Service work, courses taken, work/volunteer positions, travel, etc.)

Sponsoring Organization: Provide a brief description of the organization or agency through which you will be doing your project. 

  • How did you learn about this organization?
  • What research have you done to investigate the organization? 
  • Why have you chosen to travel with this organization? Please provide any relevant websites.
  • What is the emergency provision made by your sponsoring organization if a crisis or emergency occurs?

Project Benefits: Briefly describe what you anticipate to be the benefits of your project to the community/country visited. 

  • Once you return, how might this experience benefit your “home” community?
  • What do you hope to gain from this experience? 

Project Budget: Provide a detailed breakdown of the expenses you expect to incur during your project. Budgets cannot be amended after submission. It is vital that applicants research specific expenses to complete their proposed project. Budget considerations are as follows:

  • Round trip travel to the project site(s)
  • Living expenses
  • Personal costs for things such as health insurance
  • Inoculations and medications
  • Visa fees
  • Fees for internet access
  • Educational expenses if essential to the project.
  • Agency or sponsoring organization fee: please specify exactly what the fee covers.
  • Please provide an explanation of how you propose to fund your project should you not receive funding, in whole or in part, from Lumos.


“About Me” Document (Not to exceed 750 words):

  • What travel have you done in the past, in particular outside the United States? How did that prior travel help you prepare for this experience?
  • Do you have any achievements or volunteer experiences that would provide insight into who you are and why you wish to undertake the project?
  • Please describe how your educational experiences interested and prepared you for the project?
  • Provide three examples of your strengths and how these make you well-suited for your project.
  • What are your plans after this travel project and will this project relate to your plans and goals?

Additional Essays: Please choose a topic to write on from each group below (please do not exceed 500 words for each essay). 

Personal Essay (Choose one)

  • What do you consider to be a pressing concern in your school/community today?  Describe the problem and what you think should be done about it.
  • How would you describe yourself to someone who did not know you?
  • Describe a person who has made a significant impact on your life and is in some way responsible for your desire to explore the world and engage in meaningful service with others around the world. 

Imaginative Essay (Choose one)

  • Describe a time when you were put in a difficult situation and how you managed/grew from it.  If you could go back in time and handle it differently, how would you?
  • Imagine you are hosting a visitor from abroad for a month: where would you take this person to help them understand the United States and American culture and why?
  • If you were put in charge of managing $100,000 of donations to support an organization's cause, how would you allocate those funds and why?
  • What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

 Accompanying Documents

Submit the following documents to the Office of Study Abroad (OSA):

  • Official copy of academic transcript from applicant’s current college or university
  • Two personal letters of recommendation, submitted in envelopes sealed and signed across the seal; letters should address applicant’s character, motivation, potential, and involvement in the community, as well as ability to complete the project proposed.

Current Resume

Submit a current resume


Upon submission, each Lumos Application Portfolio will be reviewed for overall worthiness of the project and presentation of the application. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in a short interview.

All interviewed applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision. Successful applicants will be sent appropriate paperwork related to acceptance of the award and will be contacted by a Lumos representative to finalize the conditions of the award.


Before submitting their application portfolio, applicants should carefully consider the conditions they will be required to meet should they be granted an award:

Lumos Travelers are required to:

  • submit reports
  • maintain a project-related blog on the Lumos website during the course of their project and post at minimum two times a month to include photos and details of the experience
  • conduct a public presentation on campus at the end of their project
  • submit a final report on your project (In accepting a Lumos Award, recipients agree to allow Lumos to publish their reports on their website and publications, in whole or part, and will be required to sign a release to this effect.)
  • provide an assessment of your sponsoring organization.

Contact, Insurance, and Waiver Requirements:  Recipients are required to submit a digital photograph, provide and maintain contact information, obtain appropriate health insurance and inoculations, sign authorizations, and become part of the Lumos Alumni network.

Award Disbursement:  Award recipients will receive 80 percent of the amount awarded before travel commences. Payments will be made to the sponsoring organization or directly to the recipient upon production of receipts for travel, fees or expenses. The remaining 20 percent of the award amount will be paid upon satisfactory completion of the requirements. Failure to fulfill any of the requirements above may result in Lumos not paying the remaining amount awarded.

It is recommended that award recipients either keep receipts for additional costs or a log of expenses as documentation for the final payment.

Award Reduction or Revocation:  any significant changes to the length or nature of the project as approved by Lumos may result in a reduction or revocation of the award amount. Lumos Travelers contemplating such changes must notify and receive approval from the Lumos Coordinator.

Lumos, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to withdraw an award, in whole or part, from any award recipient it deems to present a safety risk to him/herself or others. Furthermore, Lumos must be reimbursed for the FULL amount awarded upon the occurrence of any of the following:

  • Failure to use the award as outlined in the award letter
  • Dismissal from or abandonment of the approved travel/project
  • Dismissal from or probation at student’s home academic institution for academic or disciplinary reasons
  • Violation of the laws of the host country or the United States during the course of the project or in the period leading up to the start of the project
  • Substance abuse
  • Arrest or deportation