FLEX Program

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For more information about FLEX, please visit http://discoverflex.org/

Begun in 1993, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the U.S. Department of State. FLEX students who pass multiple rounds of testing earn a scholarship to spend an academic year in the United States living with a volunteer host family and attending a U.S. high school. FLEX students gain leadership skills, learn about American society and values, and teach Americans about FLEX countries and cultures. FLEX is a highly competitive program with over 26,300 alumni who have contributed over one million hours of community service in cities and towns across America. The students return home to active alumni networks that carry out inspiring activities. 

 The primary goal of the FLEX program is to improve mutual understanding and develop and strengthen long-term relationships between citizens of the United States and other peoples and countries.

There are currently 17 countries that participate in the FLEX program. These countries include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine.

Finalists are chosen through a multi-layered, merit-based selection process that draws more than 40,000 candidates annually. Participation in the selection process is open to all students that meet the eligibility requirements, which include age limitations, satisfactory academic standing, English language training, Armenian citizenship, and U.S. visa eligibility requirements. Selection is based on the evaluation of multiple factors that contribute to a positive exchange experience and provide evidence of leadership potential. All finalists undergo an extensive orientation to life in America, and pursue a full course of study at a U.S. high school. Following completion of their program students must return to their homes in Armenia, where FLEX alumni association sponsor activities throughout the year.

Who organizes the program?

American Councils is the central FLEX administrative organization. Its responsibilities include, among other things, recruiting and evaluating scholarship applicants, selecting finalists, arranging round-trip travel between the students’ homes throughout Eurasia/Europe to their host families throughout the United States, providing on-program support for the students and their natural parents, as well as organizing and supporting alumni activities.

When and how can I apply?

Representatives of American Councils visit regions (see more: Regions where recruitment is carried out) to conduct testing. Applicants who meet the program requirements (see more: Who is eligible to apply to the program and who is NOT eligible) should come to the designated testing center at the time of initially announced date/time of the testing, and bring proof of eligibility (birth certificate or passport), one recent 3×4 cm photo, and a pen. Testing center locations are announced every year in August through e-mail, press, TV, Radio, social media etc. FLEX program representatives send official letters to all Armenian school directors and notify them about the date/time of the testing for each city/village. For more information you may also contact American Councils office in Yerevan at (374 -10) 56-00-45 or check the FLEX Application page on this website.

Program Goals

1  Gain an understanding of American society, people, values, culture, diversity and respect for others with differing views.

2  Interact with Americans and generate enduring ties.

3  Teach Americans about your home country and culture.

4  Explore and acquire an understanding of the key elements of U.S. Civil Society.

5  Share and apply experiences and knowledge in your home country as alumni.

What does the scholarship provide and what is NOT provided?

The FLEX scholarship provides the following:

  • Round-trip domestic and international travel (from home to the United States and back)
  • Monthly allowance to help students participate in social activities and buy necessary personal supplies
  • Placement with a selected U.S. host family for one year
  • Enrollment in a U.S. secondary school
  • Program orientation activities including pre-program preparation and re-entry preparation
  • Program activities arranged in local U.S. communities
  • Medical insurance, excluding pre-existing conditions and dental care.

The FLEX scholarship does NOT cover the following costs:

  • Acquisition of passport
  • Personal expenses not covered by the monthly stipend
  • Excess baggage costs
  • Telephone calls made from the U.S. to home or an e-mail account.

For more information about FLEX, please visit http://discoverflex.org/