I am ready for something new to focus on in my life, but I don’t know what.

Discerning the right next step is critically important, and we will provide a pedagogy, process, and tools to help ensure you have an opportunity to develop an awareness and understanding of both yourself and the opportunities that you can pursue with the benefit of the deep resources Notre Dame can provide. This will commence with information provided through the application process and be further developed in sessions throughout the summer before the program begins in the fall.

Why is the University of Notre Dame the right place to do this?

Every university has a “brand” that connotes different things to each individual depending on their experience, interaction, and relationship with the institution. The University of Notre Dame has a 175-year history of being one of America’s leading undergraduate teaching institutions and has evolved into a leading graduate institution at the forefront in research and scholarship. The aerodynamics of glider flight, the transmission of wireless messages, and the formulae for synthetic rubber were pioneered at the University. Today researchers are achieving breakthroughs in astrophysics, radiation chemistry, environmental sciences, tropical disease transmission, peace studies, cancer, robotics, and nanoelectronics, just to name a few exciting fields.

This evolution has resulted in centers and institutes found only at the top research universities. A list of these can be found at: https://www.nd.edu/academics/centers-institutes/.

Is this program designed solely for those of the Catholic faith or who have graduated from Notre Dame?

While Notre Dame is a distinctly Catholic, we embrace those from all faith backgrounds and hope to continue to attract fellows from a diverse array of educational institutions and backgrounds.

I am concerned that I do not fit the profile of a typical fellow as my accomplishment may not be “traditional,” could the ILI still be right for me?

It is important to emphasize that we define accomplished broadly to incorporate those that have risen to positions of leadership in business, non-profit, and other organizations large and small and also those who have distinguished themselves in education, medicine, law, religious life, or similar areas. The program desires to have a cohort of individuals from a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and, accordingly, is proud to have the ability to endeavor to offer a fee reduction, potentially including stipends for expenses, for prospective fellows who are appropriate for this program and who would otherwise not be able to attend.

What events happen during a typical week at Notre Dame?

There are many events that happen each week throughout the year that will be accessible and intriguing to our fellows and spouses / life partners. Information on these will be available through the University and our intranet site. A sample of the events currently happening can be found at: http://events.nd.edu/.

What will a typical week look like?

The beauty of the ILI is that you will have the opportunity to design your weeks based on your interests. Some may prefer days that are more fully scheduled, others days that leave more flexibility. Our experience has shown that many start the year more scheduled and then realize that there is a clear benefit to flexibility as a university environment rewards the opportunistic. This is due to our rich trove of accessible faculty, interesting students, enlightening lectures, fabulous wellness facilities, athletic, and cultural events and other amenities a University community provides.

We are confident that our fellows will have no shortage of items to fill their days across the following categories:

  • Attending Core and Selected Classes: Fellows will take the core course, The Human Journey, and have access to a full spectrum of classes across all the colleges, institutes, and centers. We recommend that a fellow take two to four classes in areas they wish to pursue with help provided by faculty advisors that have a broad understanding of the academy.
  • Core Lectures: There are lectures recommended each week for the cohort that will provide exposure to top faculty in subjects that will be relevant to the arc of the year in addition to interesting, relevant top outside speakers on topics of interest to our cohort.
  • Studying: Our fellows spend meaningful time reading and studying in advance of the courses they are auditing to gain the most from these classes. This could range from a few hours per week to much more at your discretion.
  • Wellness Activities: Both on- and off-campus fellows will have access to scheduled wellness classes, all student and faculty gyms and workout facilities, and activities like reserving a sheet of ice to learn that Olympic sport that is a mystery to most of us: curling.
  • Music, Arts, and Theatre: You will have access to all the cultural activities on campus, as well as the ability to hone or develop new passions in these areas through classes, workshops, and access to private practice rooms to play piano, cello, or other instruments.
  • Mentoring: There are many opportunities for intergenerational engagement with students and faculty.
  • Faculty Engagement: Our fellows have found common, productive, and valuable relationships with faculty that are mutually rewarding. These range from simple shared meals to more fulsome engagement with the projects, institutes, and centers that individual faculty are involved in.
  • Cohort Interaction: We have created spaces and encourage our ILI Fellows to take advantage of and create opportunities to get to know one another, build community, and see each other as resources as they share the journey, both during the ILI year and beyond.
  • Community Engagement: The Center for Social Concerns and other campus resources have generously offered us the ability to leverage their relationships with local, national, and global organizations to do anything from share your expertise to partnering with student groups to volunteering.
  • Project Development: Fellows may find they have a specific project they wish to develop during their year and accordingly will spend time on and off campus bringing a new mission or venture to fruition. This will be accomplished by leveraging relationships they develop with University faculty, staff, and leadership, as well as the cohort they are joining.
  • Spiritual Enrichment: You are invited to take full advantage of the many means to develop your spiritual dimension, regardless of faith tradition. This could involve a spiritual mentor, self-discovery, theology courses, liturgies, service work...
  • Global Engagement: Notre Dame International (NDI) leadership will provide access to our gateways and centers across the globe to aid in the pursuit of your newfound interests and missions, whether for a week, month, or semester.
  • Athletics: Notre Dame has 26 Division I sports teams—with most of the teams ranked—affording fellows numerous opportunities to enjoy high quality sports both indoors and outdoors.
  • Free Time: A luxury many of us do not afford ourselves which can lead to true and generative creative outcomes.

The above is but a subset of what our fellows explore during a "typical" week. To aid in this process our ILI team will provide you an intranet site with full access to all campus and community activities and guidance to ensure you have the richest experience possible. With some direction, and most importantly a curious mind and the initiative that made you the accomplished person you are, we find ourselves doing more counseling on how to manage all the options available as opposed to helping you occupy your precious time.