Guest Program Apprenticeship Application Process

There is a three-part application process to become a Guest Program apprentice at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center. Applications are accepted year round, and should generally be turned in at least four to six weeks prior to the start of the apprenticeship, so that there is time to schedule a guest student stay before acceptance. Please read and be familiar with all of the information on this web page (as well as all of the information on the Guest Program Apprenticeship Program page) before applying. Contact the Guest Program Manager (at with any remaining questions regarding the Guest Program apprenticeship, and to discuss whether it may be the right fit.

San Francisco Zen Center welcomes international visitors in the US on B visas to participate in our various offerings, workshops, and retreats. We also welcome students to participate in our Apprenticeship Program. Because the Apprenticeship Program is vocational, we are able to offer M-1 visas to students across the world. For more details about visas, click here.

Part 1.

Please begin by reviewing the guest student program and applying for a guest student stay. Completing a guest student stay is a prerequisite to being considered for an apprenticeship. The cost of the guest student stay is $25/day. Scholarships are not available for the guest student stay. There is an opportunity on the guest student application to express interest in applying for a work practice apprenticeship. The Guest Student Manager will contact applicants to schedule this visit. 

Part 2.

Please fill out a work practice apprentice application at any point after completing the guest student application. Your work practice apprenticeship application will not be considered by the Green Gulch Practice Committee until after your guest student stay. Please take time to think about the questions and provide sincere and candid answers. Program directors take into account an applicant's reasons for applying, what they hope to learn, and what they feel they can contribute.

Part 3.

During their stay, guest students experience and become familiar with the daily schedule, different work crews, and community life at Green Gulch. There are opportunities to speak with current and former apprentices and staff members, to have question-and-answer sessions with the guest program managers, and to be exposed to Buddhist teachings offered by resident teachers. Apprentice applicants have the opportunity to meet individually with the Green Gulch Tanto (Head of Practice) and the Green Gulch Director near the end of their two-week guest student stay in order to reflect together on their guest-student experience. The Green Gulch Practice Committee will review apprenticeship applications and make all final decisions regarding the acceptance of applicants.

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