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International Campaign Fellows Program

Bliss People

Don’t miss out on this invaluable learning experience and the opportunity to see first-hand how campaigns are run and elections are decided in the most important political race in the world!

For information about the application, enrollment, or other questions, please contact the Bliss Institute at or visit

Check out the Campaign Battleground Chronicles  
By Gerald Austin

Read More

Contact Us

Workforce Training Solutions
225 S. Main St.
Polsky 489
Akron, OH 44325-4104

Office: 330-972-7577
Fax: 330-972-7598

Fall/Spring Hours
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday - Friday

Summer Hours
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday

Engage & Experience The 2016 United States Presidential Campaign 


When The United States elects its president every four years, the whole world observes the mega event closely to witness the specular interplay of political art and science of electioneering. By every measure, the State of Ohio is THE critical state in the U.S. Presidential election. The University of Akron’s nationally known Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics offers a three-month (September through November 2016) hands-on learning experience – the International Campaign Fellows (ICF). You and other participants from around the world have a unique educational opportunity to experience this campaign for yourself and gain political insights that wouldn’t be possible any other way.

The International Campaign Fellows Program places participants in the middle of the 2016 American presidential campaign. Participants spend some time in the classroom learning about the campaign process, but most of their time is spent working as a staff member on a major party’s campaign. ICF participants would participate in grassroots campaigning and campaign events, and learn about campaign communications, digital media, press relations, research, polling and voter targeting. The program is suitable for students, consultants, candidates, academicians, professionals, and political enthusiasts.

Bliss group

This is an Inaugural Offering!
  • Be the first to participate in this unique program.
  • Be a part of this historical election where one of the front runners is a woman.
  • Live with an American family and interact with global participants and political practitioners from around the world.
ICF Program Details:

Program: The program is designed to expose the learners to the election campaign rigor in such a way that it aptly suits the needs of participants, consultants, candidates, academicians, professionals and political enthusiasts. 

Class Course: “Campaign Battleground” A weekly 3 hour course on the presidential campaign taught in real time.

Campaign placement: Bliss Institute faculty and staff will work with ICF participants to place them in the campaign staff of one of the major party presidential candidates (Democrat or Republican).

Housing: ICF participants will be placed in homes of campaign activists in the State of Ohio, a common practice for American student volunteers who come to campaign.

Course Facilitator's: ICF Director, Gerald Austin and Deputy Director, Hari Kasula

Visa requirements: International participants will participate in the program on a J-1 visa.

Program Fee: $6,000 includes tuition, housing, and educational materials. Participants would be responsible for their transportation to and from Ohio, plus their non-housing living expenses, estimated at $3,000.

Participants are required to hold medical insurance for the length of the course, estimated cost $600.

Registration Process: Accepted students, please follow the registration steps below:
  • Click the register now button
  • Use the account you created for the application process
  • Enroll in the International Campaign Fellows Program  
  • Pay program fee
  • Participants will receive an email confirmation 

Registration deadline - August 1, 2016

Register Now