2014 Application

2nd Round Apps due Thursday, May 22

***PLEASE NOTE: Once you begin the application, YOU MUST FINISH THE APPLICATION IN ONE SITTING; you will not be able to exit and come back to it later! Before you start, you may wish to think about the questions below which will be asked at the end:

1. Why do you want to participate in the Olive Tree Initiative trip?  (250-400 words; please keep your responses concise and to the point.)

2. Students who participate in the OTI trip are sometimes referred to as “Student Diplomats.”   What personal and professional attributes might characterize a Student Diplomat? What sort of behavior, in – and outside of – scheduled meetings, should be typical of a Student Diplomat?  What characteristics make you a strong applicant in this regard?  What characteristics and behavior would you like to further develop in yourself? (250 words or less)

3. How do you approach communication with people who hold different beliefs, forms of worship, cultural practices and identity affiliations within your own cultural group(s)?  From other cultural groups? What are your intercultural communication strengths, as well as areas that might benefit from further growth and development? (300 words or less)

4. During your OTI trip experience, what issue would you most like to explore – or what question would you most like to have explained or answered? Describe your question/issue and why it is important to you. Furthermore, identify two people whose professional work has affected this topic, of whom you would like to ask that question or seek explanation, and describe the reasoning behind your choices. (300 words or less)



Tentative  Dates:  Saturday, July 26-Monday, August 17, 2014 (in addition, participants must be available for “boot camp” training days to be arranged by individual campus delegations). 

Destinations: Washington D.C., New York City, Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan

Cost per participant: $6,000 covering the cost of all program airfare, transportation, food, speakers, hotel, insurance, tips,and logistics for all program dates and activities, including Boot Camp.

Included in the price is a 4-unit graded course that students will enroll in the semester following the trip. 

After being selected, current UC Berkeley students are eligible to receive up to a $2000 scholarship from their administration toward the entire trip cost.  Additional subsidies may further reduce the trip costs quoted above.  Participants are expected to work together to creatively fundraise to further reduce the amount, a practice which has produced very positive results for past students.  There is a $200 non-refundable cash down-payment required from selected participants as a demonstration of their commitment to participating in the program, as airfare and other logistical costs must be booked far in advance and require deposits.

The OTI trip itinerary consists of an intense schedule characterized by early morning start times and late evening end times with very few breaks.  There will be numerous meetings with prominent officials.  OTI expects trip participants to conduct themselves in a professional and diplomatic manner during the scheduled programming and throughout the trip in general.  

The OTI trip application process is very competitive, and only the most qualified students will be selected.  The selection committee will look to choose a group of politically, religiously and ethnically diverse students who demonstrate critical thinking ability, clearly value education, and enthusiastically seek to challenge themselves in these areas.  We encourage all students to apply.  If you are not selected for this summer’s trip, you may have priority for selection on another OTI trip offering for the following year.   

In addition to this application form, please submit the following:

  • 1 letters of recommendation: 
    • 1 recommendation from an academic (professor or TA) OR personal recommendation, (e.g. community leader, an employer, internship mentor). 
    • Recommenders will submit letters directly to the designated recipient on your campus, either electronically via email, or a hard copy in a sealed, signed envelope.
  • One passport-style head-shot photo, preferably included via email with the application. 

Have recommenders send their letters to the following:  cfeinste@uci.edu

Send additional required files and direct all Letters of Recommendation electronically to: cfeinste@uci.edu

If regular mail is necessary, send to: 

Olive Tree Initiative 

3151 Social Science Plaza A

Irvine, CA 92697

Please direct any questions to Corey Feinstein at cfeinste@uci.edu

You will be contacted by email within two weeks of the date your application is received.  Note: interviews will be held by the selection committee on a rolling schedule for all prospective participants. Application information is confidential and will only be seen by the selection committee of administrators and faculty from the UC system.  Those selected for the trip will be asked to submit additional documents, including (but not limited to) a Health Clearance form and an electronic copy of the inside page of your passport.

Applications and interviews will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Thank you very much for your interest in participating as a Student Diplomat in the Olive Tree Initiative (OTI) 2014 Summer Trip!

Continue to the application...