MEPI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General

Thank you for your interest in our programs. Due to budget constraints, we are unable to support all countries in the Middle East and North Africa.  Only those countries listed in the specific announcement are eligible.

  • DOS and USAID employees and their immediate family members (spouses and dependent children) are NOT eligible to apply to any of the MEPI exchange programs (Tomorrow’s Leaders Program, Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program, and Student Leaders Program).
  • If a State Department Officer or Locally Employed Staff and/or his or her immediate family members would like to apply to a DOS-funded MEPI exchange program, the applicant(s) may only do so after a period of one year after termination of DOS employment.

Current employees (and their immediate family members) of any private and public agencies under contract to DOS that perform administrative, implementation, and/or screening services on behalf of DOS for the exchange program (e.g. AMIDEAST, the American University of Beirut, and the Lebanese American University for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Program; World Learning and sub-awardees for the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship Program; and Georgetown University and sub-awardees for the Student Leaders Program) are NOT eligible to apply to the program that the employee works on.

 


2022 MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders Program

 

 

 

The Tomorrow’s Leaders Undergraduate (TLU) Program is an innovative opportunity that offers degree-granting, university-level undergraduate scholarships at select U.S. accredited institutions of higher education in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): The American University of Beirut (AUB), The Lebanese American University (LAU) in Lebanon, and The American University in Cairo (AUC) in Egypt. Eligible students who have the potential to become leaders, represent the region’s cultural, religious, and geographic diversity, are from socio-economically deserving backgrounds, and are unable to afford four years of college enrollment at an American university in the MENA region.

The primary objective of the TL program is to build a cadre of university-aged leaders who are civic-minded, intellectually able, and professionally skilled, who will become community, business, and national leaders in the future. The program intends to nurture leadership skills and the spirit of civic engagement and volunteerism. Selected students will join the 608 Tomorrow’s Leaders who have already participated in this program.

Tomorrow’s Leaders may pursue an eligible undergraduate degree in a selected field at one of the host institutions and should be prepared to begin the program in the Fall 2022 term. Participants are expected to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, engage in community service activities, and participate in career-relevant internships. Students may also have an opportunity for a study abroad semester in the U.S. Students are expected to have strong English language skills; limited English- language training will be provided for some participants.

Participation in the program includes: Full tuition coverage (for a maximum period of four academic years) at one of the participating universities, health insurance, housing, monthly living allowance, a semester study abroad in the U.S., yearly round trip tickets from and to your home country, civic leadership and career-oriented workshops, internship opportunities, and faculty mentorship and guidance.

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.  For the Fall 2022 enrollment class, applicants must be citizens of Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and West Bank and Gaza. U.S. Citizens or U.S. Legal Permanent Residents are not eligible to apply.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current high school senior or applicant who graduated high school in 2021. In Yemen, Syria, Libya and Iraq current high school senior or applicant who graduated from high school in 2020 or 2021;;
  • Strong academic credentials;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English with a minimum of 55 for the TOEFL iBT that is less than two years old;
  • Maturity, flexibility and leadership potential;
  • Must maintain a high GPA and pass high school leaving exam in final year;
  • Ability to start the program in August/September 2022.

 

Deadline for the Tomorrow’s Leaders Program is December 6, 2021.

To apply visit AMIDEAST’s website.

At the bottom of the page, click the drop down list to select your country for country-specific contact information and application criteria.

For French and Arabic information, please see these websites:

(French) http://www.amideast.org/fr/

(Arabic) http://www.amideast.org/ar/

 

 

Please contact the local AMIDEAST office for your country. They will be able to assist with your question. You can find their contact information on this website: http://www.amideast.org/


2022 MEPI Student Leaders Program

The following frequently asked questions (FAQ) should help applicants gain a better understanding of the nature of the Student Leaders Program, eligibility requirements, application timeline and process, and general application questions and requirements.

The Student Leaders Program is a rigorous leadership and civic engagement program for up to 64 competitively selected undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 20 and 24 from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Students are placed in U.S. universities where they complete academic coursework, develop leadership and project management skills, and expand their understanding of civil society and participatory governance processes in the United States and MENA region. The cornerstone of the program is the development of Community Engagement Plans (CEP), where each student identifies an issue/opportunity that they would like to improve in their communities. During the program, students will have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in community service activities, and meet civil society organizations.

The Student Leaders Program is a yearlong three-part program: pre-summer, summer, and post-summer with the most intensive part taking place during the summer. The summer program is an intensive 5-week program, and is tentatively scheduled to take place from June 29 until July 28, 2022. The summer program will either be a virtual, hybrid, or in-person program depending on the state of the global pandemic. Upon completion of the summer program, students will implement their Community Engagement Plans and receive follow-on support, training, and professional networking opportunities, including joining the 2,000 strong MEPI Alumni network.  A competitive follow-on Accelerator Workshop may be held in the MENA region.

This is entirely dependent on the global pandemic, which has proven to be unpredictable. Please know we are actively monitoring the situation and hope to have a better sense of the program modality no later than April 2022. As such, please only apply to the program if you are willing to commit to participate in the program regardless of whether it is a virtual, hybrid, or in-person program.

Expenses for the program are fully covered by the U.S. Department of State, MEPI.

Applicants must hold citizenship of Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen, Libya, or the West Bank and Gaza. Applicants cannot hold U.S. citizenship and cannot be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.

  • Must have ability to fully participate in the intensive summer program in late June 2022 to the end of July 2022;
  • Are 20 to 24 years of age as of the program start date of June 29, 2022 and end date of July 28, 2022 (birth dates falling between July 28, 1998 and June 29, 2002);
  • Demonstrate the strong English language skills needed to participate in a U.S. academic program;
  • Are committed to returning to or remaining in their home country/community following completion of the program;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement;
  • Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  • Are not a third-country national of the nominating country;
  • Have a sustained high level of academic achievement and currently attending an undergraduate or graduate program, have graduated from an undergraduate program within 6 months or less from the program start date of June 29, 2022 or will commence graduate studies in the Fall 2022 semester in their home country; will not be commencing study in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in the USA during the fall 2022 USA academic semester;
  • Preference will be given to those applicants from households with limited family income, no prior travel experience in the United States or Canada, and limited to no study or travel experience outside their home country;
  • Are willing and able to participate fully in virtual or in person intensive academic, community service, and educational travel activities;
  • In the case of an in-person program, 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
  • In the case of an in-person program, are comfortable living with another program participant of the same sex in a shared room as well as traveling to the USA and participating in the program without any accompanying friends or family members.
  • In the case of a fully virtual or hybrid program, are able to balance competing obligations of the intensive program with home circumstances of family, school, work, etc; exhibit time management skills; demonstrate a flexible and positive attitude to want to learn and engage with a multinational group of participants from the Middle East and North Africa region and with U.S. citizens.

It does not make you ineligible. You can still apply for MEPI programs, although generally, we give priority to people who have never visited the United States before.

MEPI will also not be able to offer the program in all MENA countries this year, only those listed in the eligibility requirements.

Only undergraduates and graduate students ages 20-24 at the time they participate in the program may apply. Individuals ages 28-35 may be eligible for a different program called the Leaders for Development Fellowship (LDF). Please visit: Leadership Development Fellowship | The U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) (state.gov) to see whether you may be eligible for that program.

No, you cannot. Only applicants who were born between July 28, 1998 and June 29, 2002 may apply. You must be 20 to 24 years of age as of the program start date of June 29, 2022 and end date of July 28, 2022, with birth dates falling between July 28, 1998 and June 29, 2002.

Yes, you can apply. If a student graduates before the Student Leaders Program begins in late June 2022, they must not graduate more than 6 months before the Student Leaders Program begins. In other words, they must not graduate before January 2022 (unless they will be enrolled in a graduate program in the August/September Fall 2022 semester – see next question below).

Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program when they apply. If a student is accepted to a graduate program but has not started it yet and will start the graduate program the semester immediately following the Student Leaders program (in the fall 2022 semester, starting August/September 2022), the student can apply.

Applications for the Student Leaders Program will be accepted starting on October 13, 2021 and the deadline for applications is December 13, 2021.

To apply, go to this website: https://studentleaders-apply.smapply.io/

For any application questions, please contact SLProgram@georgetown.edu. Please make sure to read this FAQs page in its entirety so that you are not asking a question that has already been answered

The application process for the Student Leaders Program involves the partnership of U.S. Embassies and/or Consulates, the U.S. Department of State MEPI office, and the primary implementer Georgetown University.

Eligible students from across the Middle East and North Africa region are strongly encouraged to apply for the Student Leaders Program from October 13, 2021 until December 13, 2021. After students have submitted their applications, U.S. Embassies and/or Consulates will review applications and shortlist candidates for interviews in January 2022. U.S. Embassies and/or Consulates will then send their nominations to the U.S. Department of State, MEPI office in DC to review and make final selections for Accepted and Waitlisted candidates. All applicants will be informed of their status no later than April 2022. Georgetown University manages the application platform and responds to applicant questions received on the SLProgram@georgetown.edu address.

All applicants will learn the results of their application no later than April 2022 via email sent through the application platform. Applicants will either be: Accepted (Finalist), Waitlisted (Alternate), or Rejected. U.S. Embassies and Consulates may also notify shortlisted candidates if they are selected or waitlisted.

During the application process, some applicants will be invited by their U.S. Embassy or Consulate to do interviews in January 2022. Due to the volume of applications, U.S. Embassies and Consulates will only reach out to shortlisted candidates for interviews. Being selected for an interview does NOT mean that a candidate is then automatically selected as a Finalist or Alternate for the program.

Accepted (Finalists) and Waitlisted (Alternates) candidates will be notified of the program modality when they are notified of their selection in April 2022.

Yes! We ask these questions not to penalize you but rather, to get a better sense of your situation and what technology/internet assistance you might need in order to successfully participate in the program.

Yes, you can apply and upload a copy of your government-issued national identification card if you do not have a passport. If you do not have a passport OR if your passport has expired, please provide a copy of your national ID instead. In the meantime, be sure to apply for your passport or passport renewal, because, if selected as a program participant and the program is either in-person or hybrid, you will need a passport valid for at least 6 months after the program end date.

A recommender should be someone other than a friend or family member, who knows you well and has observed your academic, professional, or volunteer work (ex. professor, supervisor, co-worker).

If you choose to “invite a recommender” an email will be sent to your recommender asking him/her to fill out a recommendation form and submit it on your behalf through the link provided.

Please use the required recommendation format that is provided. The answers can be hand-written or typed by the recommender.

Your recommendation letter should be submitted in English.

No, applicants are required to submit a recommendation letter.

You are not required to upload actual transcripts but are required to upload documentation (which could include transcripts) to demonstrate your academic results from your most recent year of university studies.

 

Yes, you can enter your scores as shown in your school transcripts or as shown in your other academic records. You can also use this calculator to convert your scores into a GPA: http://www.wes.org/students/igpacalc.asp

Your passport or identification card copy as well as academic records supporting your academic results from your most recent year of university studies do not need to be translated into English. However, other documents like your recommendation letter should be submitted in English.

Each applicant will receive an email notifying them of the result of their application through the Fluid Review online application database by the program implementer Georgetown University.

Students must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program when they apply. If a student is accepted to a Graduate program but has not started it yet and will start the Graduate program the semester immediately following the Student Leaders program (in the fall 2021 semester, starting August/September 2021), the student can apply.

  • Application Form – fill out and submit
  • Recommendation Formupload or have recommender upload
  • Passport or Government Issued National ID (if you do not have a passport) – upload
  • CV or Resume – upload
  • Academic results or letter certifying university enrollment – upload

If there is a question that was not answered in these FAQs, please email the Student Leaders Program at SLProgram@georgetown.edu. It will take 3-5 business days (Monday-Friday) to get back to your question


2022 Leadership Development Fellowship

Since 2007, the Leadership Development Fellowship (LDF Fellowship) has provided leaders from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with the opportunity to complete training in civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, and leadership. Emerging civic engagement and social entrepreneurship leaders across sectors from the MENA region will participate in a 5-stage, 12-month Fellowship to identify innovative ways to address social and economic challenges in local communities. The LDF Fellowship is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and implemented by World Learning.

The LDF Fellowship is an intensive civic engagement and social entrepreneurship fellowship, and selected candidates are expected to fully participate in each stage of the LDF Fellowship. The LDF Fellowship will take place over 12 months and include 5 stages:

  1. Stage One: Fellowship begins with two weeks of in-person workshops and trainings with World Learning in partnership with Duke University focused on: studying the systems that contribute to societal challenges; building effective partnerships for social change; and developing inclusive and equitable interventions.
  2. Stage Two: Fellows refine interventions and complete exercises that provide local focus on systems analysis, inclusive interventions, building partnerships, and other acquired tools and knowledge from Stage One.
  3. Stage Three: Fellows spend three weeks in the United States as part of the English Track (for high-proficiency English speakers), or in Tunisia as part of the Arabic Track (for high-proficiency Arabic speakers), to gain academic and local insights into civic engagement and social entrepreneurship and to reflect on the findings of their Stage Two activities.
  4. Stage Four: Over six months, fellows apply the lessons of the LDF Fellowship and report on results to strengthen their ongoing civic and social entrepreneurial activities. During this stage, Fellows may apply for small grants or technical assistance.
  5. Stage Five: In the final month, the Fellows reconvene for three days to learn and share the impact of their LDF experience.

The 2022 LDF Fellowship is approximately twelve months in total starting from May 2022.

Participants from the following countries are eligible to apply to the English Track of the 2022 LDF Fellowship: Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Israel, or Bahrain.

Participants from the following countries are eligible to apply to the Arabic Track of the 2022 LDF Fellowship: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, or Bahrain.

For the English Track, which includes a visit to the U.S. as part of Stage Three, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Eligible Countries: Applicants must be from Algeria, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Israel or Bahrain.
  • English Fluency: Applicants must have strong written and oral English proficiency and be able to function comfortably in English-speaking academic and professional environments. All U.S.-based activities are conducted in English.

For the Arabic Track, which includes a visit to Tunisia as part of Stage Three, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Eligible Countries: Applicants must be from Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, or Bahrain.

For both tracks, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Age: Applicants must be between 28 and 35 years of age.
  • Professional Experience: Applicants must have at least five years of professional work experience in a relevant field.
  • Civic Engagement and/or Social Entrepreneurship Experience: Applicants must have a minimum of five years of civic engagement and/or social entrepreneurship experience.
  • Academic Background: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree.
  • Arabic Fluency: Applicants in both tracks must be able to function comfortably in Arabic-speaking academic and professional environments. Almost all virtual activities are conducted in Arabic.
  • Full Participation: Applicants must be willing and able to participate fully in all five stages of the LDF Fellowship. Fellows will travel out of the MENA region for two weeks at the beginning of the fellowship, for three weeks to either the U.S. or Tunisia during Stage Three, and again for three days at the end of the fellowship.
  • Application: Applicants must have the capacity and ability to immediately apply the knowledge and skills gained throughout the LDF Fellowship.

Participants must be comfortable living with another participant of the same sex in a shared room, traveling internationally, and participating in the LDF Fellowship without any accompanying friends or family members during Stages One, Three, and Five.

Applications for the 2022 LDF Fellowship will be available online from July 26, 2021 to August 27, 2021.

All applications will be submitted online. Please apply using this link: https://ldf.secure-platform.com/a.

The application process includes completing an online application; recording a short video statement; and submitting a resume, a professional reference form, a certificate of graduation, and a passport copy (if available). For more info on LDF Fellowship, visit this link: https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/ldf/

For questions about the LDF Fellowship please email ldf@worldlearning.org.

Applicants are free to submit separate applications to the English and Arabic Tracks of the LDF Fellowship. However, applicants will only be offered a spot in one of the tracks. The candidate’s preference may be considered during the interview process. If the applicant is selected for an interview and has the high English language proficiency required for the English Track, then the applicants might be offered a spot on the English Track. The same is true for the Arabic Track.

Due to the volume of applications, we will only contact semi-finalists.

Due to significant budget constraints, the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative’s (MEPI) LDF Fellowship was reduced in size. MEPI will not be able to offer the LDF Fellowship in all previous countries this year.

No, applicants are required to submit a professional reference form.

Applicants are not required to upload actual transcripts but are required to upload academic documentation (which could include transcripts) to demonstrate that they hold a bachelor’s degree. If an applicant holds a master’s degree, Ph.D., or another degree, they are required to upload documentation to demonstrate that they hold these degrees.

Your passport or identification card copy as well as academic records supporting your academic degrees DO NOT need to be translated into English and can be submitted in the original language they are printed in. However, all other application documents such as your professional reference form, essay questions, video statement, and other application materials should be submitted in English for the English Track application and Arabic for the Arabic Track application.

The LDF Fellowship is funded by MEPI, which will cover the cost of international travel, lodging, and health insurance, and provide a modest living stipend to cover meals and incidentals during the in-person engagements.

Yes, applicants can apply and upload a copy of their identification card if they do not have a passport. If applicants do not have a passport OR the passport has expired, they can provide a copy of the national ID instead. If an applicant is selected, they will need to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after the LDF Fellowship’s end date in order to participate.

Previous visits to the United States do not make you ineligible. You can still apply for the LDF Fellowship, although generally we give priority to people who have never visited the United States before.

Only applicants aged 28-35 years old at the time of the fellowship may apply for the LDF Fellowship. Younger individuals may be eligible for the Student Leaders Program. Please visit this website to read about the Student Leaders Program:  https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/student-leaders-program/

Yes, applicants who applied in previous years and still meet the eligibility criteria can apply for the 2022 LDF Fellowship.