Exchange Programs for Secondary-School Students

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program was established by the U.S. Department of State in October 2002 to provide scholarships for high school students (between 15 and 18.5 years old) to spend up to one academic year in the United States. Students live with a host family, attend a U.S. high school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their country and culture. The program is important in expanding the communication between the people of the United States and partner countries in the program.

YES scholarships cover all major expenses, including airfare, room and board, health insurance, pocket money, and educational supplies.

The YES program supports students with disabilities and encourages their participation.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a Jordanian citizen
  • Be at least 15 years old and no older than 18.5 years old by August 1 of the year of participation
  • Have an overall grade of at least “B” (80%) in all academic subjects for the past three years
  • Have an overall grade of at least “B+” (85%) in English for the past three years
  • Meet a minimum English proficiency requirement, which will be measured by a test
  • Demonstrate flexibility and a commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding
  • Should not be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or previous applicant for immigration to the United States

YES scholarships cover all major expenses, including: airfare, room and board, health insurance, pocket money, and educational supplies.

In Jordan, YES is administered by AMIDEAST. View the program’s webpage for more information.

To Apply:

Application deadline: Annual/fall. See AMIDEAST’s program announcement on the program’s webpage.

TechGirls is a three-week international summer exchange program designed to empower and inspire young girls from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue careers in science and technology.

The centerpiece of the program is a weeklong technology camp that provides participants with an in-depth examination of technology-related topics, such as Java programming and mobile application development, and engages the program participants in 45+ hours of hands-on instruction. The camp is complemented by additional activities such as site visits to technology companies, leadership clinics, community service opportunities, job shadowing, and cultural events. As part of the program follow-on, the TechGirls implement at least one peer training program or service project within their schools and/or communities.

Students eligible to apply are those who:

  • Are from one of the following eligible countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia;
  • Are between the ages of 15 and 17 at the start of the exchange;
  • Have demonstrated advanced skills and a serious interest in technology, engineering, and/or math in their academic studies;
  • Intend to pursue higher education and/or careers in technology;
  • Have strong English language skills;
  • Exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness;
  • Will attend at least one additional semester of secondary school upon their return to their home country;
  • Are committed to completing a community-based project upon their return home.

 

Preference will be given to those who have limited or no prior experience in the United States. You are not eligible if you have travelled to the United States in the last three years as part of any other ECA exchange program.

TechGirls encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.

To Apply:

Application deadline: Annual, winter

Apply online on the TechGirls website after the program is announced.

Deadline extended to Saturday, March 16

Between the Lines (BTL) is a creative writing summer program that brings together young international writers (between 15 and 18 years of age) and young American writers for cultural exchange and enrichment. The Department of State is pleased to once again partner with the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program for the 2018 summer residency program from July 13-27, 2019. The backdrop of the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City – the only UNESCO Creative City of Literature in North America – serves as inspiration for the students to grow as writers and provides them with the opportunity to explore cross-cultural dialogues on creative writing and literature.

During this year’s program, “Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience,” young writers will participate in an exchange that will broaden and sharpen their writing skills, build bridges with their American and international counterparts, and deepen their understanding of American popular culture. Program activities will include English-language writing workshops, world literatures seminars, cultural visits, and other local events. At the culmination of the program, the students’ writings will be collected into a printed anthology to be used for educational purposes.

Extracurricular events and evening activities allow students to deepen their understanding of each other’s culture through their interactions with each other and with the larger community. During the exchange, participants live in a residence hall and will be supervised by live-in, trained counselors. The chaperone and counselors work together to help create a lively, supportive writing community. Travel, lodging and meals will be paid for by the Department of State.

More program information is available on the International Writing Program website at: https://iwp.uiowa.edu/programs/between-the-lines.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be 15-18 years old as of July 13, 2019;
  • Proficient in English (reading, writing, and speaking);
  • Be comfortable with cross-cultural dynamics and interested in close interaction with other international students;
  • Be committed to attending all sessions and creative writing workshops as part of the program;
  • Be passionate about writing.

Please send PART I and PART II of the application to USAinJOExchanges@state.gov. (You can include your answers for PART II in the body of the email that you send to us.)

Part 1:  All writing samples must be in English with 12-point font and one-inch margins all around.

(1) A brief response (no longer than 300 words) to the following:

“An essential component of Between the Lines is encouraging participants to explore the unfamiliar and unknown in a safe and supportive setting. Please describe a time in your past when you had to engage with a new situation, person, or idea that initially felt uncomfortable or strange. How did you proceed? If you had the chance, what would you do the same, and what would you do differently?”

(2) A personal statement (no more than three pages) in response to the following prompt:

“In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, religious groups, as well as class, gender, race, country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each particular role. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member of (or seen as a member of) a particular group? In what way does your identity influence you as a creative writer and reader?”

(3) A brief statement of purpose (no more than 250 words) describing why writing is important to the applicant’s life, and what he/she hopes to learn at BTL.

(4) A creative writing sample of 6-8 pages of prose (fiction or creative nonfiction) and/or poetry. Critical essays (book reports, academic reports, and so forth) will not be accepted.

Part 2

  • Participant information:
    • Full name (as it appears on your passport)
    • City and country of birth (as it appears on your passport)
    • Gender
    • City of residency
    • Country of residency
    • Country of citizenship
    • Date of birth
    • Email address

Please email all complete applications to:

USAinJOExchanges@state.gov  no later than March 16, 2019.

 

 

Tomorrow’s Leaders (TL) supports academically qualified, financially disadvantaged high school graduates in the Middle East and North Africa by providing a four-year academic matriculation, civic education, and leadership development through American accredited institutions in the region. The program covers university tuition and fees, a study abroad experience in the U.S., insurance, housing, and monthly allowance. Students requiring English preparatory work may be enrolled in one to two semesters of college preparatory English classes before entering degree programs. In addition to receiving undergraduate education, students will benefit from mentoring, career development, internship, and micro-grant opportunities with local civil society, business, and non-governmental organizations and networks. Facilitated by each host institution, students participate in initiatives throughout their ‎academic program that go beyond the traditional classroom to foster leadership development and encourage civic engagement.

Who is Eligible?

This program is open to high school graduates in the Middle East and North Africa, who are qualified but unable to afford a college education. Students enroll at the undergraduate level in a four-year program. For the Fall 2019 enrollment class, applicants must be citizens of Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and cannot hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a high school senior or recent high school graduate at the time of application;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English;
  • Demonstrate strong academic performance;
  • Ability to start the program in August/September 2019.

How Do Participants Apply?

Interested candidates can access the online application through Tomorrow’s Leaders website at www.amideast.org/tl.

Tomorrow’s Leaders application window closed in December 2018. Additional information will be posted for future programs when announced.