RHS and GCA Interchange Fellowship

A reciprocal exchange programme between British and American horticultural students

Horticultural leaders of the future

Founded in 1948, the Interchange Fellowship is an international exchange programme sponsored jointly by the RHS in the UK, and The Garden Club of America (GCA) in the USA, in association with Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania.

More than 100 fellows have participated in the programme and have gone on to hold leading positions in public garden management, horticulture, education and landscape architecture.

Spend a year at Longwood Gardens

Experiences at Longwood Gardens will include:

  • Studies in horticulture, landscape design, conservation horticulture, and land stewardship will be centered at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania
  • The programme will be a planned, hands-on, practical training programme in ornamental horticulture
  • Fellows will experience different horticulture areas at Longwood such as the Conservatory, Greenhouse Production, Outdoor Landscapes, Plant Records, and Land Stewardship

  • Fellows will also participate in weekly learning opportunities including trips to regional gardens, museums, nurseries and horticultural enterprises; they will uncover American horticultural techniques and regional plant species as well as making valuable horticultural contacts
  • Please note: Due to visa requirements, the programme of experience is created prior to arriving at Longwood

Who can apply?

British student horticulturists in possession of a recognised horticultural qualification can apply.  This includes those in possession of horticultural qualifications at Level 2 and above as well as university graduates and final year-students studying a horticulture-related degree.


What costs does the bursary cover?

  • Return economy flight to the USA and visa fees
  • Accommodation at Longwood Gardens
  • Admission costs incurred attending conferences, public gardens and arboreta
  • Salary, at current Longwood Gardens rate

  • Personal use of Longwood vehicle (on proof of valid driving licence and upon passing driver safety training)
  • Safety/personal protective equipment.
  • Health and repatriation insurance


  • Successful fellows are expected to give talks and presentations about their fellowship experience and other topics of interest

  • Fellows must also submit both a mid-term and final report to the RHS and GCA as well as promote the fellowship through articles and talks when required

Spend a year in the UK

A bespoke British programme will include:

  • 10 months travelling the UK on a package uniquely tailored to match your interests, career goals and aspirations
  • Explore horticultural, botanical and academic institutions
  • Master British horticultural techniques

  • Network with a variety of influential people
  • Applications for USA to UK fellows are handled directly by the GCA on their website
  • Find out more on the GCA website

Thinking of becoming a future fellow?

Here’s what some of our past fellows said about their time on the international exchange programme.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.