Frequently Asked Questions

When can I apply for summer funding?

Applications for Summer 2017 opportunities will open on January 17, 2017 and close February 8, 2017 at 11:59PM. 

The deadline for the application is almost here, but I have not received a letter of support from my host organization/s. Can I still apply?

Yes! Apply for summer internship funding from the Lang Center as if you received your top choice of internship. Once selected, award recipients will be asked to provide the letter of confirmation from their organizational host. Those selected students who do not have confirmed host sites should work with Dr. Katie Price (kprice1) to secure an appropriate host.

Who can apply for summer internship funding from the Lang Center?

First year, sophomores, and junior students at Swarthmore College seeking summer funding for a full time, part time, and/or short term internships are welcome to apply. 

Can I work in a for-profit organization?

When the for-profit organization has a social mission, the answer is yes, absolutely. On rare occasions, a student must learn a skill that is only available through an experience with a for-profit business, in order to pursue an activity or product that will serve to address an issue of social justice. Students can explore these options with Dr. Katie Price (kprice1).

Can I work in a law office?

Yes, provided that it is a law office that is advocating on issues of social concern, e.g., a D.A.’s office, an immigration law office, offices specializing in juvenile law, domestic violence, environmental law, and so on.

Can I apply to multiple grants within the college for a single summer?

Yes, but Swarthmore College has a $4,500 summer limit for support. In other words, no double dipping! Apply for everything that interests you, and if offered more than one opportunity, please send a note to the administrator/s of the other offers ceding these other awards.

Is there a limit to how many internship grants I can receive from the Lang Center during my time at Swarthmore College?

Not necessarily. A student may receive one summer experience grant at the college maximum ($4,500) from the Lang Center in one summer, but receiving summer internship funding in one year does not prohibit you from applying for internship funding in subsequent years. 

If I'll get paid a stipend by my internship host site, can I also receive an internship grant from the Lang Center?

This depends upon how much of a stipend you would be receiving, and the cost of living in the area where your internship experience is located. For instance, in very expensive coastal US cities (New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco), the Lang Center grant may not be sufficient to cover the student’s housing, food, commute, travel, and financial aid requirements. We consider this on a case-by-case basis and ask that all applicants reveal their stipend when they present their budget on their applications.

What does the grant money cover? Can I include airfare or other non-local transportation in my budget?

The Lang Center's summer internship grants are intended to cover the student’s housing, food, consumer disposables, and commuting costs, plus $2500 for a student's summer earnings requirement. A student may use the funds to cover the cost of airfare, provided the student is not going “home.”

If I am a Chester Fellow, where would I live? What would the cost be to live on campus for the summer?

In the past, most Chester Fellows live in a dorm, while on occasion one or two Chester Fellows will prefer to house-sit for a local faculty member or sublet an apartment in the ‘Ville. Those who have lived in the dorm have mentioned that the proximity to other Fellows is a very positive experience, allowing the conversations and reflections to carry on into the evening but this arrangement is contingent upon availability of campus housing.

If I intern in Philadelphia, is it possible/advisable for me to live on campus?

That depends on where in Philadelphia you will intern, and whether you have connections to other students who will live in Philadelphia. Dorm housing will be less expensive than a sublet, even when factoring in the commuting costs (See:, transportation passes, to determine the monthly rate for a train pass). Some sites in Philadelphia are difficult to reach by public transportation, and for those locations, it may be advantageous to seek a summer sublet in the City, particularly if you know others who might be able to share the expense (and adventure) with you.

Do I need a letter of recommendation from a faculty member? 

Yes. Students should request letters of recommendation from faculty who can best speak to their academic capabilities as they relate to the summer work they are proposing. Faculty recommenders will be asked to address academic knowledge and/or capabilities, maturity, self-awareness and advocacy, work ethic, and integrity. Students are strongly encouraged to share key aspects of their application with their faculty recommender so that they can best speak to the extent to which this summer experience would fit well in terms of a student’s development. Students should also inquire as to whether or not faculty would like any additional information. If you are unsure as to who would be an appropriate person to ask for a letter of recommendation, please schedule an appointment with a member of the Lang Center staff or speak to your academic advisor. For Summer 2017, faculty should submit a letter of recommendation no later than March 1, 2017 to Katie Price (kprice1).