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 2018-19 academic year.
What is the FLEX program?
In 1992, then-U.S. Senator Bill Bradley cosponsored, together with U.S. Congressman Jim Leach, the historic legislation providing for the FLEX program. Funding was approved by the United States Congress to extend a hand of friendship from the people of the United States of America to the people of the countries of the former Soviet Union, and has since expanded to other countries.
FLEX is fully 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.
The FLEX program 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 26th year, the FLEX academic year program has provided scholarships to over 27,000 secondary school students. In 2018-19, 922 students are studying in the U.S. on the FLEX 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 2001 and 15 July 2004;
- 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?
- 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
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
What happens after the online application competition?
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.
To apply please fill in a form available on this site: https://ais.americancouncils.org/flex.