The Cross-Cultural Community Engagement Fund supports international community service, advocacy, and activism. The fund was founded by and is endowed by a Middlebury Class of 1987 alumnus and receives additional support from the Davis Collaborative in Conflict Transformation. The Fund supports service-learning and community-building internships and/or related volunteer service opportunities for undergraduate students in international settings, or in communities that are not the students’ own. For an experience to be eligible for funding, it must address intercultural learning, benefit the public good, and be in collaboration with a community partner (a non-profit organization or governmental agency).

Spencer Royston teaches a class.

Spencer Royston ’21

Spencer tapped into the CCE’s Cross Cultural Community Engagement Fund over J-term in his second year to work in a library in Costa Rica. It was a transformative community-based experience that helped him connect his classroom and career interests.

“My time in Nosara provided me essential context for my studies at Middlebury, as well as real-world experience in what can often be a stale research-based field. I was encouraged more than ever to pursue my goals of teaching English abroad after I graduate, in the many forms that this might take.”

How It Works

These community-engaged internships and service initiatives are usually student-designed. Preference is given to those opportunities in a culture distinctly different from the applicant’s background, usually outside of the U.S., and projects that are mutually-beneficial for the applicant and the communities with whom the applicant is engaging. A portion of the grants awarded also aim to support student engagement in conflict transformation initiatives that occur in community-based, inter-cultural settings (i.e. the funded experience provides the opportunity to learn and apply conflict transformation knowledge and skills with others).

Funds are available throughout the academic year and for summer experiences. Funding is available to currently enrolled and returning undergraduates. Graduating seniors are not eligible to apply for funding for activities that occur after graduation.

Grant funding can be used for project supplies and materials directly used in the partnership work, community partner fees, living expenses (housing, meals), travel costs, and lost wages (i.e. costs of not working another job). They cannot be used to purchase tech equipment (e.g. computers, cameras) that will remain with the grantee or partner after the completion of the project. 

There is a maximum of $4,000 per grant, although most grants range from $300 up to $2,500. Funds are limited and grant amounts are decided in part based on the intention to support as many student initiatives as possible. Students will typically receive between $300-$750 for full-time, one-week experiences; $750 - $2,000 for full-time, four-week Winter Term experiences; and $1,000-$4,000 for summer experiences—for as long as the funding lasts. A group of students may apply for a grant from this fund. While the group may share a project description, each student must complete the application (essay questions, budget, etc.) and post-experience reflections individually. CCCE funding may not cover all expenses of a project. We encourage students to seek funding through their academic department or student organization budgets, too, if applicable.

Depending on what civic knowledge, skills, and identities you hope to build through the experience, we may make available and expect engagement in selected pre-departure trainings, classes (i.e. INTD 232 Conflict Transformation Skills, pre-departure gatherings, post-experience reflection dinners), and resources to prepare you for your project or internship, if funded.


Apply here

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until funds run out. We accept CCCE applications during the fall, J-Term, and spring semesters. Applications for projects taking place during summer 2024 have closed. 

Applications should be submitted as soon as possible during the semester as funds are limited. Applications should be submitted at least 4-6 weeks before the funding is needed. Allow up to two weeks for CCE review and two weeks for processing of payment. If your international travel requires additional review (see “Health and Safety” below), we recommend an additional two weeks of processing time.

The application has four parts: (1) Applicant Information; (2) Activity/Project Basic Information; (3) Three Essay Questions; (4) Proposed Budget Upload.

Here are the three essay questions we’ll ask you in Part 3 of the application, as well as their word count ranges. To learn more about the conflict transformation skills and dispositions we ask about in the application, visit CT@Midd Conflict Transformation Resources and check out the Recommended Reading section. 

Before you apply, you will need to complete a budget proposal to upload to your grant application, too. A sample budget template is here. Please make a copy of the sample, complete the fields with your proposed budget items, download and save it. If you are going to share a link instead of saving/uploading it as a pdf, **be sure to allow anyone with the link to view it.**

If you have questions about the application or the process, you may contact CCE Program Administrator Liz Cleveland in the Center for Community Engagement at

Health and Safety

Your request must be reviewed by the Global Operations Committee for some international travel. Your project must also be reviewed by the Internal Review Board (IRB) if you are researching human subjects as part of your proposal.

If you seek to travel to a location where the State Department has issued a travel advisory or warning, you will also need to complete an activity approval form. Please notify Liz Cleveland at and/or indicate on your Cross-Cultural Community Engagement application if you have completed and submitted this form.

All grant projects are required to adhere to Middlebury College’s protocols and requirements. All students must comply with applicable CDC, state, local, country of residence, and College-related COVID health and safety restrictions, as applicable.

Celebrating Funded Projects!

Check out this map to see where the first 10 years of 315 funded projects took place between 2009-2019. You can zoom in on specific site pins to see some highlighted project descriptions.

Google world map.