NEW YORK – July 14, 2018 – Today, the Biberaj Foundation announced its first project, the co-funding of the Albanian-American Development Foundation Master’s Degree Fellowship Program.
The Master’s & Internship Program (MIP) was launched in 2016 by the Albanian–American Development Foundation (AADF) to provide Albanian young professionals and future leaders a unique opportunity for Master’s Degrees and Professional Internships in the fields of Business Administration and Management, Cultural Heritage, Eco-Tourism and Hospitality, Education, Information Technology and Computer Science, Public Policy, Public Administration.
“The Biberaj family is honored to co-sponsor, with a $2.5 million donation, the AADF’s Master’s Degree Fellowship Program, intended for Albanian young professionals seeking to advance themselves through studies in the United States,” said Ken Biberaj, the Foundation spokesman. “We have deep gratitude to the United States for the success we have achieved, and great pride in our Albanian heritage. It is our hope that this Fellowship will empower a new generation of Albanian students to strive for excellence in academia, while fulfilling a commitment to giving back to their Albanian community.”
The Biberaj Foundation was established on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Biberaj family’s arrival in the United States in 1968. After fleeing repression in communist Albania, and arriving in the U.S., their story is a testament to the American Dream. Through their individual and collective hard work and entrepreneurial spirit, the Biberaj family has established their own businesses and pursued careers ranging from education, technology, law, public service, finance, retail, real estate, philanthropy, and the arts. They have a strong belief in supporting their communities and making sure the opportunities that higher education has afforded them continue to be bestowed on others.
The mission of the Biberaj Foundation is to support the pursuit of educational opportunities by Albanian students from the Balkans through study at American institutions. After any course work, the Fellowship requires recipients to return to their country of origin and work there to strengthen the foundation of democratic societies.
The AADF Master’s Degree Fellowship Program is a merit-based competitive program, open to anyone who meets the following requirements:
- Must have an Albanian passport throughout the whole duration of the program;
- Resident in Albania at the time of application and during the selection process;
- Must hold a university degree requiring at least four years full-time study (or three + one, three + two in the Bologna system). The university diploma will be evaluated by the U.S host university during the selection phase;
- The minimum required university degree GPA is 8.0;
- Must have a minimum of two years professional experience in the field of study and demonstrate leadership ability;
- Able to demonstrate an outstanding academic record and achievements, professional aptitude and leadership potential in the selected field of specialization;
- Proficiency in oral and written English. TOEFL test scores are not required at the time of application;
- Motivated with a sense of purpose in pursuing the desired study program, as demonstrated in prior relevant work experience and additional activities;
- Depending on the field of study, the candidate will sit for GRE & GMAT testing;
- Able to begin the program of study in the U.S. in the summer of 2019;
- Able to receive and maintain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa;
- Agree to return and reside in Albania for a minimum of two years to make a significant contribution to the relevant field and must agree to sign an agreement with AADF prior to start of academic year;
- Willing to be proactive with MIP Alumni Network AADF upon return;
- Applicants who have already earned a Master’s Degree from a U.S. university will not be considered.
American Councils for International Education will assist the placement of fellows in the U.S and monitor their academic progress.
More information on the Fellowship is available at: https://mip-aadf.org/
About the Biberaj Foundation Inc.
The Biberaj Foundation, a not-for-profit organization, provides educational opportunities for qualified students of Albanian descent living in the Balkans to receive scholarship assistance for study in undergraduate and graduate programs leading to a degree at United States colleges and universities.
About the Albanian-American Development Foundation
The Albanian-American Development Foundation (AADF) was created in 2009 by the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund with the support and encouragement of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Government. The AADF is a not-for-profit corporation governed by a Board of Trustees, which operates entirely in Albania. The mission of the foundation is to facilitate the development of a sustainable private sector economy and a democratic society in Albania, and to contribute to stability in Southeastern Europe. The AADF directs the following programs to further its mission: education for sustainable development; entrepreneurship; leadership development; and support for cultural tourism and eco-tourism. Additional information is available at the website at http://aadf.org/.
About American Councils for International Education
The world’s most successful institutions and determined nations work with American Councils for International Education through cultural exchange, language training, and professional development. Since 1974, American Councils’ educational portfolio has grown to include 85 countries important to national security, prosperity, and peace. Programs are backed by thorough research to ensure their quality and integrity. Participants represent a spectrum of learners, from high school through the postdoctoral and professional level. To date, American Councils has built a community of more than 89,000 alumni, including national leaders, ministers, members of parliament, ambassadors, and CEOs.