Student Leaders Program

The Student Leaders program offers outstanding undergraduates from across the MENA region an intensive leadership training course of approximately 6 weeks in the United States. The program emphasizes lessons in participatory governance and the application of leadership skills.

The Student Leaders program is a rigorous exchange program for up to 120 undergraduate students from the Middle East and North Africa. Students are divided among U.S. academic institutions where they develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society and participatory governance and how both may be applied in their home communities. Participants have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in local community service activities, and observe and take part in the governmental process on the local, state, and federal levels. The program includes academic coursework, as well as study tours to various regions of the United States.

Upon completion of the U.S.-based program, participants are mentored by the program implementer to leverage their experiences through sponsored alumni activities designed to effect positive social change in their home countries. A follow-on training seminar is generally held in the region upon completion of the U.S.-based program. Participants will be mentored by the program implementer to leverage their experiences through sponsored alumni activities designed to effect positive social change in their home countries approximately 6 months after the U.S. portion of the program.

Who is Eligible?

Students from the following countries are eligible to apply: Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, and West Bank/Gaza.

This program is open to university students between the ages of 20 and 24. We seek a gender-balanced pool of candidates and give preference to traditionally under-served participants. While nominees may be undergraduate or graduate 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.

Those who have previously traveled to the U.S. or studied abroad are ineligible. Applicants should demonstrate sufficient English-language skills to participate in U.S. university-level classes and must be enrolled in and attending a university in their home countries. At the time of application and while participating in the program, participants cannot hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.

How do participants apply?

Participants apply for the program online at https://studentleaders.fluidreview.com and are then interviewed and nominated by Embassies. For questions, please e-mail: MEPIExchanges@state.gov.

Expenses for the program are fully paid by the U.S. Department of State.

Deadline

Applications are closed for 2017-2018. Check back later this year for the 2018-2019 competition.