Harvard University South Asia Institute Crossroads Emerging Program 2019 (Fully Funded to Dubai, UAE)

Application Deadline: August 30, 2019 at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST)

The Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program was inaugurated in 2017 as a joint effort between the Harvard Business School Club of the GCC, HBS Professors Tarun Khanna and Karim Lakhani, and The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute at Harvard University. 

The Program is a prestigious and a fully funded career development opportunity for students from across the world, who are the first member of their family—or the first generation within their family—to attend university and facing challenges of financial and social circumstances. Following a rigorous multi-stage evaluation process, exceptional students are selected from a diverse applicant pool to take part in this unique educational experience. 

The ultimate aim of the Crossroads Program is to create a diverse pipeline of future graduate students at leading universities, such as Harvard, and future leaders from across an array of social-economic, racial and cultural backgrounds. 


To be eligible for Round One, candidates: 

  • Must be between 18-24 years old.
  • Must hold a passport or national document* from a country in Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the United States (Note: any existing and official proof of nationality will suffice at this stage. Please refer to our extensive Frequently Asked Questions page for further details.)
  • Must be the first member of their family—or the first generation within their family—to attend university.
  • Must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate university program or a recent graduate from a university within the last three years.
  • Must be facing challenging financial circumstances.
  • Must be fluent in English.

To be considered for Round Two of the Crossroads Program, candidates:

  • Must submit a PDF copy of their existing and valid passport from their home country in Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, with at least 7 months validity as of March 25, 2020 until the expiration date. (Note: USA nationals are not eligible for the in-person segment of the Crossroads Program held in Dubai)
  • Must reside in or be able to travel to an Air Arabia destination city at their own expense. A full list of Air Arabia destination cities can be found here.
  • Must be facing or have faced challenging financial circumstances.
  • Must not have studied, worked or travelled beyond their region unless to a developing country.
  • Must submit an updated one-page resume (PDF file format).
  • Must submit an official or unofficial academic transcript showing the candidate’s grades (PDF file format).
  • Must submit a personal statement of 600 words or less describing their interest in pursuing this program. This statement must be in English, double-spaced, in 12-point size font and saved in PDF format.
  • Must submit two letters of recommendation uploaded directly into the online application form. Letters should offer insight into the student’s academic achievements and their ability to take on challenges. All recommendation letters must be in English and saved in PDF format. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for more details.
  • Must submit a recent passport photo (dimensions: 2 x 2 inches / 51mm x 51mm) with a white background to expedite UAE visa processing if the student is selected for the Dubai sessions (Note: visa processing fees and any associated costs are the responsibility of candidates).


Successful candidates from Round One will be invited to apply to Round Two of the Crossroads Program, the in-person experience held in Dubai and delivered by Harvard professors. Round Two, the fully paid, in-person experience held in Dubai consists of a five-day Harvard classroom experience. Led by Harvard faculty, students will access curriculum that includes a combination of case studies, small discussion groups, discussion on potential career paths, and information on applying to Harvard throughout the sessions held in Dubai.

Important note: existing and valid passports are required as part of the Round Two application form. Applications that do not include existing and valid passports with at least seven months validity as of March 25, 2020 will not be considered for the Dubai program. Therefore, candidates are encouraged to ensure they are in possession of a valid passport as soon as possible. Exceptions cannot be made, and these admissions are subject to program eligibility criteria, as well as UAE visa restrictions.  

For More Information

Visit the Official Webpage of the Harvard University South Asia Institute Crossroads Emerging Program 2019

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