Frequently asked questions

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Applicants

Who can participate?

FLEX is open to all students, with or without a disability, who meet established age, grade and citizenship requirements.

When will FLEX testing take place in my region?

Round 1 of FLEX testing takes place in Fall. Check the FLEX website or our FB page American Councils Armenia frequently starting in early September, to see when Round 1 will come to your region.

How many rounds of testing are there?

FLEX testing consists of three rounds. Round 1, held usually in September, consists of a 15-minute English language test. Round 2, usually held the same day or the day after Round 1, consists of three essay questions to be answered in English. The essays are graded on content, not grammar, spelling or usage of English. Round 3, generally held four to six weeks later, consists of a standardized English language test, two more essays, and an interview. After the interview, students receive the complete application to complete within 2 weeks.

When are the results of each round announced?

Round 1 results are generally, but not always, available the same day or the evening of the Round 1 test. Your American Councils representative will inform you when and where the results will be posted. The results of Round 2 are generally announced about three to six weeks after Round 2 testing. Students who pass Round 2 will be notified by phone that they are invited to Round 3. The results of Round 3 are generally announced in the spring. All FLEX finalists and alternate candidates will be notified by phone by an American Councils representative. Those who did not pass, will receive e-mail from American Councils. 

Is there a way to prepare for FLEX testing? Are there courses to prepare for the testing?

Successful FLEX candidates demonstrate the ability to adapt and thrive in a new environment. A candidate may prepare for Round 1 by improving English skills.

How well must I know English to participate in the Program?

FLEX is not a language program. Finalists are selected based on a demonstrated ability to adapt and thrive in a new environment, rather than for their language skills. Participants are tested in their knowledge of the English language because knowledge of spoken and written English will be necessary if students are to successfully participate in school and home life in the U.S. If the student has demonstrated characteristics that make him/her suitable to become a finalist, but that student’s level of English is not sufficient, that student may be eligible to receive supplemental language instruction.

If I took part in FLEX testing but did not pass a round, may I see my results to check my mistakes?

All FLEX testing material is confidential and will not be shared.

Parents

How can I find out more about hosting?

Our program is always looking for families interested in making this type of experience possible. You can visit the hosting section http://discoverflex.org/participate/host-family-and-schools/ of this website  to read what host families have to say.

Why do people host? Host families are volunteers and receive no financial compensation for hosting FLEX students, so why do they do it?

They wish to set a good example for their children. They wish to get a firsthand, realistic picture of other cultures.

  • They wish to set a good example for their children.
  • They wish to get a firsthand, realistic picture of other cultures.
  • They want to give their child the experience of having a sibling.
  • They want to demonstrate their dedication to family and the positive development of children.
  • They have a personal interest in a particular country.
  • They have a desire to share U.S. culture and customs.
  • They value the educational experience hosting a student gives to their own children and family.

How can I register my child participate in FLEX?

Be sure to bring your child’s passport or birth certificate, passport-sized photo and a pen. Nothing else is needed. All students who are eligible and who come with the necessary documentation will be allowed to participate in testing.

My child has a disability; can he/she participate in FLEX?

Students with disabilities are welcome and encouraged to participate in FLEX. There are over 100 FLEX alumni who are blind, deaf or have a physical disability (for example, cerebral palsy). Staff work to accommodate students with disabilities at testing and on the program. Special testing materials are available to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities. FLEX believes all eligible candidates should have the chance to apply to the program.

If my child does not pass testing in one city, can s/he try again in another testing center?

No. Each child may only participate in FLEX testing one time per year.

If my child is chosen as a finalist, can I choose the city, state or school where s/he is sent?

No. Neither FLEX finalists nor their parents may choose where students are placed in the U.S. Students are placed in all 50 states, most typically in suburban areas and rural communities.

Our family has friends/relatives in the U.S. Can my child visit them while on program?

FLEX finalists are chosen because they have demonstrated they are able to adapt and succeed in a completely new environment. Being in close contact with family and friends connected to home disrupts this process of adaptation. Travel to visit friends or relatives is rarely approved for this reason. Any travel within the U.S. must be approved by the student’s placement organization.

Can my child stay in the U.S. after finishing FLEX and enroll in an American university?

No. Participants must return to their home country upon completion of the program in May or June, as per requirements of the J-1 visa, under which FLEX participants travel on the exchange program. Any subsequent applications the student may make to travel to the U.S. will be decided by the U.S. consulate.

Is there a FLEX program that my child can pay to participate in?

No. FLEX is a scholarship exchange opportunity funded by the U.S. Department of State. There is no fee component with FLEX. Other organizations offer study abroad opportunities for a fee.