Select Page

Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Please consult our FAQ below before reaching out to us. If you have any additional questions, please direct them to


Can I apply if I have already graduated from university?

Yes, we accept students that are between 18-24 years old, who are going to begin an undergraduate program soon OR are enrolled an undergraduate university program OR who are recent graduates of a university within the last 3 years. If you graduated exactly three years ago, you also qualify.

Can I apply if I am in a postgraduate program (Master’s degree, PhD, etc.)?


If I am currently working and not enrolled as a student, do I qualify?

We accept recent graduates of university, graduating from an undergraduate program within the past 3 years.

If I am about to begin my first semester of university this year, do I qualify?

Yes, as long as the other criteria are met. 

I am currently studying outside of my country of origin. Do I still qualify?

No, students must be in studying in their country of origin to qualify.

I’m turning 18 later this year. Do I still qualify?

Yes, as long as the other criteria is met and provide proof that you will begin an undergraduate program in Fall 2019.

I am older than 24 because of an alternative education timeline. Do I still qualify?

Yes, on a case-by-case basis, as long as other criteria are met. We realize that extenuating circumstances may have altered your path.

If my parents went to a vocational college, do I qualify?

This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

If my parents went to an undergraduate or professional college, do I qualify?


How do you define “first member in family?”

This refers to the first person in the family or a person of the first generation of a family. Family includes adoptive and/or biological members of your immediate family.

If my sibling or cousin is already enrolled or has already graduated from university, am I still eligible?

Yes, the stipulation for “first member in family” refers to the first generation of a family to attend university.

Do I need a TOEFL or IELTS score to apply to the program?

No. While fluency in English is required, shortlisted candidates will only need to demonstrate fluency during the application process.

If I attended the Crossroads program in the past, can I go again this year?

You are not eligible for the Dubai sessions. You are eligible for the online program. 

Is there assistance for applicants with disabilities?



Visiting Dubai

Will my travel and living expenses be covered in Dubai for the Program?

Yes, from an Air Arabia destination city.

Will the Program fund my visa fees?

No, the Program will not fund visa fees or any associated costs. 

Will you help me obtain a visa for my travel?

Yes, based on the validity of your documents (such as existing passport with validity of at least seven months from March 25, 2020, and any documents required for processing should you be accepted to Round Two of the Program) and subject to UAE travel restrictions.

What are the Air Arabia destination cities?

The Air Arabia website can tell you how to reach Dubai from your location. You must be in or able to get to one of the many locations that Air Arabia flies from, at your own expense. Please note that Air Arabia does not currently fly to the Americas. We cannot guarantee that funds will be available to fly admitted students from the Americas to Dubai.

Do I need a passport?

Applicants must possess an existing and valid passport from their home country, with at least 7 months validity as of March 25, 2020 until the expiration date. 

Will the program sponsor passport fees?


What if I have dual citizenship from one of the partner countries listed and another that is not?

If at least one of your citizenships is from any of the countries that are listed in the program, you qualify to apply.

What do I do if my passport expires soon?

Applicants must be in possession of a valid passport from with at least 7 months validity as of March 25, 2020 until the expiration date. An invalid passport or lack thereof will result in an unacceptable application.


About the In-Person Dubai Program

What should I expect from the program? What topics will be covered?

Participants will gain exposure to a variety of experiences, such as a Harvard classroom environment, sessions led by Harvard faculty, mentor talks, site visits to key places in Dubai, learning from your peers, the opportunity to think of your future education and career possibilities, and much more. The program has been uniquely designed by Harvard faculty.

Will I receive a certificate of completion?


Can applicants re-apply next year?

Accepted individuals may not apply for the in-person Dubai program in the following year.  Applicants may re-apply if they were not accepted in previous years.

When can I expect to hear back about my application status?

We are expecting to notify applicants within a few weeks of their completed submission. Please do not send repeated inquiries about your application, we will be in touch at the soonest.

Applying to Crossroads

When is the application deadline?

The application deadline is Sunday, October 6th, 2019 at 11:59 PM EST. Late submissions will not be considered. Calculate the time difference between your location and Harvard here.

How do I apply to the Crossroads Program?

Please consult the detailed instructions found here.

What is a one-page resume?

A resume is a one-page document that details your educational background, work experience, skills, and volunteer experiences.  Please find more information here

I have requested an XID but I cannot seem to log-on to CARAT.

You must activate your XID first by following the instructions in your confirmation email. Please consult detailed application instructions here.

I have requested an XID but I do not see a confirmation email.

Please check your spam folder. 

I have activated my XID successfully, but I can’t seem to log onto CARAT.

Please wait at least 24 hours after activating your XID before logging onto CARAT. If you have waited at least 24 hours and are still having difficulty logging onto CARAT, ensure that you are on the XID login pane on CARAT before attempting to log in. Consult the instructions here.

I have logged onto CARAT successfully, but I cannot seem to find the Crossroads Application.

Please consult step 10 of the instructions.

I have logged onto CARAT successfully, but it says “Your profile is missing some essential elements.”

Please make sure that your name and other personal information is filled out correctly in the XID system before proceeding. To double check, please visit and click on “Edit your XID account.”

How do I submit my recommendation letters?

Letters of recommendation should be submitted directly to CARAT by recommenders. You will input the recommender’s name and email address into the “References” section of the CARAT application. Once you input the name and email address of your recommender, a button should show up that says “Send a Reference Request.” Click on this button, which will automatically send a button to your recommender.

What should letters of recommendation include?

Letters should offer insight into the student’s academic achievements and their ability to take on challenges.

Who should write my recommendation letters? Do they all need to be academic references?

Examples of potential recommenders include a former professor, teacher, or member of an academic institution who has first-hand experience working with the student in an academic setting, as well as a work supervisor or other non-academic mentor. References do not need to be from Harvard professors.

My recommender says that they did not receive the email to upload the recommendation letter. What do I do?

We suggest that you do the following:

Ensure that you press the “Send a Reference Request” button. Ask recommenders to check their spam folder on their email. Ensure that you have written the email address correctly in CARAT.  If you are still having difficulty, email

What should I write on the “Title” field when inputting reference information?

Please write the “title” of your recommender.  For instance, if your recommender is a teacher at your school please write, “Teacher at (Name of your school)” 

What does it mean to “waive my right to access the letter of recommendation written on my behalf”?

If you click “Yes” to waiving your right to access the letter of recommendation, it means that you have agreed not to request the recommendation letter after you have submitted your applications.  If you click “No,” that means that you can request the letter of recommendation at a later time, after applications are completed and finalists selected. Your decision on this question will not affect your standing for the application.

Do letters of recommendation need to be in English?

Yes, letters must be in English. Non-English letters will result in an incomplete application.

What is a transcript?

A transcript indicates the courses that you have taken throughout your academic career. Depending on your university and your country, you may have the option to acquire an unofficial transcript or an official transcript. Both unofficial and official transcripts have the same information, but in some countries, you may be required to purchase an official transcript which comes on special paper. Please submit the transcript that is most accessible to you.

What should I submit as a transcript if my previous semester grades will not be available until after the deadline?

Send the most recent transcript that is available to you.

I have submitted my application. Is there a way that I can download my entire application as a PDF?

Yes. You will need to log in to CARAT.  When you do, the home page should list your submitted application. Please click on the “Review” button corresponding to your application to download the PDF. Please note that this PDF will not have the letters that your references submitted. 

I have submitted my application. Is there a way to go back and edit it?

Please double-check thoroughly before submitting your application. If you have submitted your application and need to edit the information on your application, please email We will need to “unsubmit” the application, which will send the application back to you to edit. When you are re-submitting, you will need to reattach the PDFs again.

What is an “electronic signature”?

This is to ensure that you have double-checked and validated the details of your application. If the information is all correct, then please input the ID in the parentheses into the signature field.