Frequently Asked Questions



College for Social Innovation: a nonprofit organization that partners with college/universities to offer the Semester in the City Program.

Semester in the City: a program that offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study away in Boston for a semester, work in a social change organization, take courses on social innovation and entrepreneurship, and receive full-credit while doing so.

Student: an undergraduate student who applies to the Semester in the City Program.

Social Innovation Fellow: an undergraduate student who is accepted and participate in the Semester in the City Program.

Q: Is there a fee to apply to the program?

A: Semester in the City does not charge an application fee.

Q: What is the eligibility process?

A: Every college/university has its own eligibility process that students must complete to participate in a study away program.  Please contact your college’s program administrator for information about the process and deadlines.

Program Administrators:

University of New Hampshire: Paula DiNardo: 

Clark University: Study Abroad/Away Office:

Q: How much will it cost me to participate in the program?

A: There is no additional cost for you to participate in Semester in the City beyond your regular full-time tuition (not including housing and meals).  Once accepted into the program you will be required to pay a $100.00 deposit to hold your spot.  You then pay your college/university your tuition on their schedule continuing to use any financial aid you might have available.

Q: Will my financial aid transfer over?

A: Yes - any financial aid you receive you can apply to your tuition as you normally would.  

Q: What is not covered by my tuition?

A: Housing and meals are NOT covered by your tuition. Your tuition also does not cover the $100.00 deposit to hold your spot in the program after you’ve been accepted.

Q: How much will it cost me to live in Boston?

A: Semester in the City offers Fellows an apartment housing option. Fellows will share a 4-bedroom furnished apartment with other Fellows (4 Fellows per apartment). Housing costs $4,000 a semester. We prefer Fellows live in Boston to participate in our program.  If you would like to make other arrangements you must contact Semester in the City prior to the application deadline for the semester in which you are applying.

Because Fellows will have a kitchen in their apartments, they will be able to purchase and cook their own food. Semester in the City will also provide 3 meals a week during classes and workshops. Assuming 3 meals a day for 14 weeks, the cost for meals for the semester will run anywhere from $800-$1,600 per student (based on USDA data; this does NOT include eating in restaurants). 

Semester in the City will provide students with free T passes (the T is Boston’s subway/bus system).

Q: Is there any financial aid available for housing?

A: There are three ways for students to receive assistance for housing costs.  

  1. Any financial aid funds not needed to cover tuition for the semester can be used by students for housing and meals. Please contact your financial aid office to get information about this option.

  2. Students can apply to be a Community Adviser (CAs) in one of the apartment buildings - there will be up to two CAs selected each semester. Selected CAs will receive a 50% reduction in housing cost. Students can indicate interest in becoming an CA on the application. Learn more about the CA position and apply here.

  3. There will be work-study positions available for students. Please contact Natalya Subbotina directly if you are interested in learning more about this option (

Q: Will I receive academic credit for participating in the program?

A:  Your college/university has agreed that Social Innovation Fellows will receive full-time credit for their participation in the program. Credits can be applied to electives, in some cases to major or minor requirements and other graduation requirements. Students must get approval for the application or distribution of credits from their academic advisor and/or department chair.

Q:  What does a typical program week look like?

A: Monday through Thursday, Fellows are working in their social change organizations. Wednesday evening students take a seminar course titled The Social Innovators Tool Box, which will is a foundation course on social change, innovation, and entrepreneurship. On Fridays, students are in two workshops — one to reflect on their internship and the other to develop and hone leadership skills. The weekends are unscheduled though there will be occasional field trips and other social activities organized by and for Fellows.

Q: What type of social change organizations will I be placed in?

A: Fellows will be matched with carefully selected nonprofits, innovative government agencies, and/or social mission businesses.