Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)
Student Leaders Program
Program Dates: June 26 – August 5, 2016
Application Deadline: January 7, 2016
NEA/AC’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program is pleased to announce the 2016 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 regional leaders. Approximately 120 students are expected to participate in the six-week program in summer 2016, joining over 1,600 program alumni.
Program participants will be assigned to one of six host institutions in the United States. Each host university will design its own course materials and schedule. However, each academic program will address common themes including: a comparative analysis of leadership styles; conflict resolution and group dynamics; the role of civil society; and public policy management. All programs will also share two key components: a five-week academic residency at the host institution and a one-week study tour designed to complement and reinforce the concepts explored in the academic residency. In collaboration with the U.S. host institutions, NEA/AC will host an alumni development conference for participants who successfully complete the summer program. 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 and practicum. 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 should not be U.S. citizens or citizens of another Organization of Economic cooperation and Development (OECD) member country. NEA/AC will not accept candidates who have previously traveled to the United States.
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 or 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 2016 Program:
- – March 4 – The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Office of Assistance Coordination selects and notifies finalists and alternates of their status.
- – June 26 – Student Leaders arrive in Washington, D.C. for program orientation.
- – June 29 – Students travel to their assigned host universities.
- – August 2 – Students return to DC for closing ceremony.
- – August 5 – Students depart to home countries.
Deadline for applications submission is January 7, 2016