Program Dates: June 29-August 8, 2015
Application Deadline: February 8, 2015
The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program is pleased to announce the 2015 MEPI Student Leaders Program, a fully-funded leadership training program in the U.S. for undergraduates. The MEPI Student Leaders Program contributes to USG goals of cultivating participatory and pluralistic societies by developing the leadership capacity of young reformers. Approximately 100 students from around the region are expected to participate in the six-week program in summer 2015, joining over 1,500 program alumni across the region.
Program participants will be assigned to one of six host institutions in the United States, where they will participate in courses on leadership, conflict resolution, the role of civil society in the democratic process, and social and political change management. After a five-week residency at the host institution, participants will take part in a one-week study tour designed to complement and reinforce the concepts explored in the academic residency. Participants will also take part in an alumni development conference, to be held in the Middle East / North Africa region in early 2016. MEPI will cover the costs of the program and the alumni workshop, including travel expenses for all eligible participants.
TRAVEL AND LOGISTICS
Participants will arrive and depart through Washington, D.C. in order to participate in U.S. Department of State welcome and farewell ceremonies and informational briefings and debriefings. Participants will be met at U.S. Customs and Immigration in Washington by their respective host institutions. Due to the rigorous academic and program schedule, travel to visit family or friends elsewhere in the United States will not be permitted before, during (including on weekends during the academic residency period), or after the program. Students must immediately return home upon conclusion of the program. All participants are expected to travel unaccompanied.
While nominees may be undergraduate students in any field of academic specialization, it is critical that they exhibit a serious interest in pursuing leadership opportunities in their home countries and demonstrate a desire to deepen their civic engagement. All students must be prepared and possess the necessary English language skills to seriously engage in graduate-level class discussions. In addition, participants will be expected to take advantage of opportunities to inform and educate a variety of American audiences about the cultures and societies of their home countries /communities in non-structured gatherings and public presentations. Selection preference will be given to qualified candidates with limited or no travel experience outside of their home countries. Candidates who have previously traveled to the United States are not eligible for the program.
Ideal candidates for the MEPI Student Leaders Program:
- Are 20 to 24 years of age;
- Demonstrate the strong English language skills needed to
- participate in a U.S. academic program;
- Are committed to returning to their home country/community following completion of the program;
- Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
- Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
- Have a sustained high level of academic achievement;
- Demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement;
- Have no prior travel experience in the United States and limited to no study or travel experience outside their home country;
- Are willing and able to participate fully in intensive academic, community service, and educational travel activities;
- Are comfortable with campus life, sharing living accommodations while traveling with a multinational group of participants from the Middle East and North Africa region and with U.S. citizens, and making adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries/communities; and
- Are comfortable spending Ramadan and Eid in the United States.
Key dates for the 2015 Program:
- March 6 – The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Office of Assistance Coordination selects and notifies finalists and alternates of their status.
- June 29 – Student Leaders arrive in Washington, D.C. for program orientation.
- July 6 – Students travel to their assigned host universities.
- August 5 – Students return to DC for closing ceremony.
- August 8 – Students depart to home countries.
Deadline for applications submission is February 8, 2015.