At the secondary school level, American Councils for International Education administers merit-based scholarship programs on behalf of funders that include the US government. The students we support represent the FLEX and YES programs, which are funded by Congress and sponsored by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
How are scholarship programs unique?
All participants sponsored by the US Department of State scholarship programs at the high school level go through a highly competitive selection process in order to earn the right to represent their country. Applicants undergo three rounds of testing and finalists are chosen based on their fluency in English, academic performance, teacher recommendation, leadership potential, and evidence that they possess the maturity and skills to successfully adapt to life in the US.
While in the US, students do well academically, perform volunteer community service, make cultural presentations, and are encouraged to participate in activities that will develop their leadership skills and understanding of the various components of civil society, such as volunteerism, civic responsibility, tolerance, and respect for the rule of law.
At the end of the program year, all State Department scholarship participants return home to become members of the State Department alumni group in their home country, where they initiate activities that build on acquired skills and experiences gained in the US.