The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the United States government and administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. The program provides competitively selected secondary school students with a scholarship to spend a year living in the U.S. with a volunteer host family, attending a U.S. high school to foster understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries around the world. FLEX is supported at the local level by thousands of U.S. citizens and local secondary schools that host, educate, and support students with no financial compensation. Now in its 27th year, the FLEX academic year program has provided scholarships to over 28,000 secondary school students.
Who organizes the program?
American Councils for International Education organizes recruitment, selection, orientation, and travel arrangements for the FLEX Program. Many other private, non-profit organizations in the United States also support the FLEX program. The U.S. government has asked these organizations to place FLEX participants in supportive U.S. host families and to organize local activities during the year-long program.
What does the scholarship provide?
- 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 and screened 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.
Who is eligible to apply to the program?
The FLEX scholarship competition is merit-based and open, at no cost, to applicants who meet the following requirements. Students with disabilities are invited to participate in the competition. FLEX finalists include approximately 20 students with disabilities each year. Selected students with disabilities meet the same criteria as other participants in the program. Students may only apply once to the program during a given recruitment cycle.
Eligible applicants must:
1) Meet the grade/age requirements (refer to the testing schedule section)
2) Be enrolled in a secondary school at the time of application
3) Have an academic standing of good or better
4) Have previously studied English and demonstrate English language ability at the time of registration
5) Meet U.S. visa eligibility requirements
6) Be a citizen of Turkmenistan.