Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institute FAQ

Who is eligible to register?
The program is open to students in any year of high school or college. Enrollment in a school or university is not required to apply.

Who should consider applying?
The program is ideal for student journalists. However, enrollment in a school-sponsored student journalism program is not required. Student press freedom advocates and allies should feel just as welcome to apply.

Do I have to be an American citizen to participate?
No. The Institute will be accessible anywhere in the world, via Zoom, and taught in English. Students must be available to attend all meeting sessions, which are listed in Eastern Time.

How will I know if I’ve been admitted?
Once you submit your application for admission, you will receive an email confirmation with a copy of your form responses.

Is there financial aid available?
Yes. PEN America awards need-based financial aid ranging from $100 to $500 toward the total cost of attendance ($500). Inability to afford tuition should not be a barrier to participation. 

Will I receive any school credit for the Institute?
PEN America and the Student Press Law Center will award each student a Certificate of Achievement in Global Press Freedom Advocacy upon completing the course. The program will offer excellent preparation and a relevant credential for future internships and work opportunities in the policy and advocacy realms. Neither high school or college credit will be granted for completing the Institute unless otherwise determined by a sponsoring institution.

Will there be any homework assigned?
Background readings will be assigned that students are expected to complete before each session. These readings will serve as the basis for each day’s discussion session and should take on average an hour and a half a week to complete. Throughout the program, students will be expected to work independently on a capstone writing project outside of instructional hours to be presented on the last day of the Institute.

What supplies do I need to attend the Institute?
To participate in the Institute, students must have a working computer, a reliable internet connection, an email address to access Google Classroom, and a Zoom account, which can be set up for free online. A notebook to write in and some writing utensils are also recommended for note-taking, and a printer is optional for printing out the reading materials for annotating.

Who are the instructors?
The Global Press Freedom Advocacy Institute is co-directed by Hadar Harris, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, and Nicholas Perez, program manager for free expression and education at PEN America. The program is also supported by Alexis Mason, operations manager at the Student Press Law Center, and Peris Tushabe, program assistant for free expression and education at PEN America. The daily schedule will include presentations from various experts and professionals across PEN America and the Student Press Law Center’s networks, including student journalist activists, expert researchers, advocates, attorneys, and campaigners.

For any additional questions, e-mail institute@pen.org.

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