Main Fountain Garden, Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, USAThe RHS/GCA Interchange Fellowship (formerly known as the Martin McLaren Horticultural Scholarship) is a reciprocal exchange programme, sponsored jointly by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the UK, and by The Garden Club of America (GCA) in the USA, in association with Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. Its aim is to foster British-American relations; promote horticultural studies; and the exchange of information in this field, and of course to develop the horticultural and educational leaders of the future.

Founded in 1948, more than 100 university graduates and student horticulturists have participated in the Interchange Fellowship programme and have gone on to hold leading positions in public garden management, horticulture, education and landscape architecture. The opportunities available to the Interchange Fellows are unique in the horticultural field, and the network of alumni has become a lasting legacy.

Below are just a few of many:

  • Mildred Fockele, Director of Horticulture, Atlanta Botanical Garden, USA
  • Anthony Aiello, The Gayle E Maloney Director of Horticulture & Curator, Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Michael Dosmann, Curator of Living Collections, The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, USA
  • Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planning Design & Vegetation Technology; Director of The Green Roof Centre, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Jane Knight, Landscape Architect, The Eden Project, UK
  • Cicely Marshall, Visiting Researcher, Development of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, UK

Read the article 'Exchange across the pond, its first 50 years' (2MB pdf)

Find out about the past and present Fellows

Interchange Fellowship: a year in the USA

Who can apply?

Former Interchange Fellow Alex Summers removing the spent leaves of Victoria ‘Longwood Hybrid’ at Longwood GardensThe programme is open to British university graduates with a degree in horticulture, landscape architecture, botany or environmental studies (final-year students expecting to graduate the following summer may also apply), and to British student horticulturists in possession of a recognised horticultural qualification (Diploma/HND or equivalent).

What options are available?

As a university graduate you may apply to attend either the first year of a post-graduate programme at a university in the USA, or to undertake a 12-month internship at Longwood Gardens. As a student horticulturist you may apply to undertake a 12-month internship at Longwood Gardens.

The Post-graduate Programme (open to graduates only)

If a post-graduate programme is pursued, you will have the option to choose from a wide range of fields related to horticulture, botany, landscape architecture and environmental studies.

If you are considering applying for this option it is important to be aware of the following:

  • Postgraduate programmes tend to begin in late August/early September.
  • You will need to have identified potential courses/universities before the Interchange Fellowship application closing date of Friday 26 October.
  • Any successful applicant for the post-graduate programme must sit the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) general test, which is a mandatory requirement for all applications to universities in the USA.

View the Getting to America document for futher details on the above (287kB pdf).

Internship at Longwood Gardens (open to all)

This is a 12-month highly structured, stimulating and exciting non-academic practical programme in ornamental horticulture, commencing in September of each year at the world-renowned Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, USA, affording the successful applicant exposure to American horticultural techniques, regional plant species and new contacts.

As an intern, you would work 40 hours per week and be engaged in weekly learning opportunities, including trips to regional gardens, museums, nurseries and horticultural industries.

Longwood Gardens

In addition to the RHS/GCA Interchange Fellowship internship, Longwood Gardens offers a variety of International Internships & Training Programmes for which British university horticultural graduates/student horticulturists are encouraged to apply. 

Apply for the RHS/GCA Interchange Fellowship exchange programme

Interchange Fellowship: a year in the UK

Former Interchange Fellow Danielle Ballweg pruning Trachycarpus at Tresco Abbey Gardens, UKAs part of the exchange programme, an American university graduate spends 10 months at various horticultural, botanical and academic institutions in the UK, gaining valuable exposure to British horticultural techniques, as well as gaining a wide variety of contacts through the longstanding wealth of experience that the RHS has established within British and international horticulture.

Fellows meetingGCA Interchange Fellows meet up in London, May 2014. L to R: Sarah Carey former GCA Liaison to RHS; Christopher Jordan RHS Interchange Fellow 1995 (formerly known as The Martin McLaren Interchange Scholar); Ian Wale GCA Interchange Fellow 2005; Ashley Edwards GCA Interchange Fellow 2014; Terry Huang RHS Interchange Fellow 2013; Natalie Daniels GCA Interchange Fellow 2010; Celine Lillie GCA Scholarship Vice-Chairman.

Applications for American students wishing to spend a year in the UK are handled directly by the GCA. To apply and for further information visit the GCA website.


Find out about the past and present Fellows

Courses & workshops

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Learn a new skill or brush up on old ones with a workshop or short course with the RHS.

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