The application deadline for AY 2017/2018 has expired.
The Embassy of the United States in Latvia and American Councils for International Education are pleased to invite students to participate in the FLEX program. This exchange program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and seeks to bring bright and talented Latvian high school students to live with an American host family and study in an American high school for the 2017-18 academic year.
What is the FLEX program?
The FLEX program was created by the United States Congress in 1992. It established a year-long, fully funded exchange program for secondary school students to travel to the United States for a year. Now in its twenty-third year, the FLEX academic year program has provided scholarships to over 24,000 secondary school. The goal of the program is to promote mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and countries in the region, as students learn more about the U.S. and teach Americans about their countries. Each scholarship recipient will live for one year as a member of a U.S. host family and study in an American high school. Secondary school students with disabilities are invited to participate in the competition. Approximately 20 students with disabilities are invited to the U.S. on the FLEX program each year. Selected students with disabilities must meet the same criteria as other participants in the program.
Requirements for participants:
The competition is open to all students who meet the following eligibility criteria:
- have Latvian citizenship;
- are born between 15 July 1999 and 15 July 2002;
- are currently enrolled in grade 9-10;
- study English in secondary school;
- meet the requirements for receiving a U.S. visa and have not spent more than 3 months of the last five years in the U.S.
What does the scholarship provide?
The FLEX scholarship provides the following:
- Round-trip domestic and international travel (from home to the United States and back)
- Small monthly allowance to help students participate in social activities and buy necessary personal items
- Placement with a selected and screened U.S. host family for one year
- Enrollment in a U.S. secondary school
- Program orientation activities including preprogram preparation and re-entry preparation
- Program activities arranged in local U.S. communities
- Medical insurance, excluding pre-existing conditions and dental care
What is NOT provided?
The FLEX scholarship does NOT cover the following costs:
- Any costs associated with receiving an international passport
- Personal expenses not covered by the monthly stipend
- Excess baggage costs
- Telephone calls or internet use, including access to e-mail
What happens after the online application competition?
A selection committee will evaluate online applications and select semifinalists in November. Semifinalists will receive a longer application, take an English language proficiency test, write a composition, and be interviewed in person by American Councils staff. Applicants may apply only once online and may only take part in one interview.
Upon notification, finalists, alternates, and their parents will receive information to prepare them for departure. They must officially notify their FLEX representative in writing that they accept the scholarship and must provide any additional documentation requested as well. Students must begin the process of applying for or renewing their international passport immediately upon acceptance to the program. The FLEX program will instruct participants on the process of applying for a U.S. visa.
Who organizes the program?
American Councils for International Education organizes recruitment, selection, orientation, and travel arrangements for the FLEX program. Founded in 1974, American Councils is an international non-profit organization working to improve mutual understanding between countries, exchange ideas among individuals, and enhance collaboration through education. It designs, implements, and supports innovative programs in the United States, Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.