Trip Application

The applications are closing soon!

(UCB, UCLA, and SDSU Trip will take place July 23rd - August 11th, 2017)

To apply please: 1) email your responses to the below questions, 2) fill out a brief online registration (see below), 3) submit two letters of recommendation, you will then be contacted for a brief interview.

See trip information in the last section below

Note: Participation in the OTI Club Chapter is recommended for those interested in attending the trip. Contact Zach Dorfman at for club information. We hope to see you there!


Online Registration 

 Please fill out the online registration HERE

You must submit this brief registration in order to process your application. The registration will ask for your mailing address, email, related coursework you have taken, and your community involvement. 


Essay Questions

Please thoughtfully answer these questions and email your response to Shary at 

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)


Additional Items

Email  all items to Shary Miranda, OTI Administrative Assistant at or mail in hard copies to the address below.

  1. Thoughtful, concise responses to four essay questions (listed on next page)

  2. Completed online registration

  3. Two letters of recommendation: one academic recommendation, e.g., from a professor or GSA (excluding core OTI faculty); and one personal recommendation, e.g., from an employer, internship mentor, non-family member adult, club president, etc. If you have no current personal connections with GSAs or professors, a letter from a high school teacher may be submitted. Recommenders should submit letters directly to the Olive Tree Initiative either electronically via email, or a hard copy in a sealed, signed envelope.

If regular mail is necessary, send to:

Olive Tree Initiative

Attn: Susan Seely

3151 Social Science Plaza A

Irvine, CA 92697

You will be contacted by email within two weeks of the date your application is received. Note: the selection committee will hold interviews on a rolling basis for all prospective participants, (tentatively) between November 7th and November 21st. 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.


Student Trip Information

Dates: UCLA, Berkeley, SDSU: July 23rd to August 11th

(In addition, participants must be available for “boot camp” training days to be arranged by individual campus delegations - usually a week before the trip).

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

Cost per participant: $6,000 which INCLUDES the cost of all airfare, transportation, food, lodging, insurance, and logistics for all program dates and activities. However, through collective fundraising students should expect to pay personally only a fraction of the full cost. (Cost EXCLUDES snacks/coffees, extra airline baggage fees, and transportation to and from airports at the start and end of the trip).

After being selected, OTI student delegates have a few select scholarship opportunities.

After being selected, OTI student delegates may have a few select scholarship opportunities. Additionally, participants are expected to work together to collectively fundraise for the trip. Whatever the student group cannot fundraise together, students must have the ability to cover themselves. There is a $250 non-refundablecash down-payment required from chosen participants as a demonstration of their commitment to participating in the program, as airfare and other logistical costs must be booked far in advance. This deposit is applied to the cost of the trip.

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 high-level meetings with officials. OTI expects its Student Diplomats to conduct themselves in a professional and diplomatic manner during the scheduled programming and throughout the trip. Though taxing, the trip will be very rewarding for those selected.

The OTI trip application process is competitive; the most qualified students will be selected. Students must demonstrate excellent critical thinking skills, value experiential education, and be willing to challenge themselves in these areas. We encourage all current OTI students to apply. If you are not selected for this summer’s trip, you may have priority for selection on the next trip, as long as you continue active involvement in your OTI Chapter.

*Students also have the opportunity to receive course credit for the OTI experience if they enroll in the for-credit online course subsequent to the trip.


Other Information

OTI Participants are Expected To:

  • Participate in the Campus Chapter Club. Contact Zach Dorfman at for club information.


  • Participate in “Welcome Back Event:” community event where trip participants reflect on their trip experiences
  • Participate in follow-up OTI campus outreach events
  • Give back to the club in some way (mentor new students, assist with other events, take on a club leadership position, publicize OTI to the community)

Thank you for your interest and good luck with your application!

The OTI Team