Established in 1992, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program enables high school students from Europe and Eurasia to spend an academic year in the United States, living with a family and attending an American high school. The program was created from the conviction of former Senator Bill Bradley to ensure long-lasting peace and understanding between the U.S. and its partner countries. Since the program’s inception, over 29,000 students have participated in the FLEX program.
FLEX is a highly competitive, merit-based scholarship program where over 35,000 students compete annually in multiple rounds of testing. Successfully selected students gain leadership skills, learn about American society and values, and teach Americans about their home countries and cultures. FLEX students perform community service in their U.S. communities and act as ambassadors of their home countries. Many are inspired by this spirit of volunteerism to develop and implement innovative projects in their home countries, using the skills and ideas they gained while on program. FLEX students are naturally curious and enthusiastic citizens of the world.
In 2017, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Mongolia, FLEX Program was launched in Mongolia enabling 20 Mongolian students to participate in the program every year.
- 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 pre-program preparation and re-entry preparation
- Program activities arranged in local U.S. communities
To qualify for the FLEX Program, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Be a Mongolian citizen, eligible to get a Mongolian passport and currently living in Mongolia
- Are currently enrolled in grade 9, 10, or 11
- Are born between January 1, 2006 and July 15, 2008
- Be proficient in English
- Have good academic standing (with 80% or higher cumulative average)
- Meet the requirements for receiving a U.S. visa
- Have not spent more than 3 months of the last five years in the U.S.
Note: Students with disabilities born between January 1, 2005 and July 15, 2008 will be eligible to apply.
How to Apply
The 2023-2024 selection will be held virtually due to the pandemic. Round 1 and 2 will be announced in August and will take place between September and October and interested applicants can take part in the examinations from any location via Internet. Eligible students can apply here in September 2022: https://discoverflex.org/apply.
All U.S. Government scholarship programs are merit-based. Although we take into account special circumstances of candidates such as disability, disadvantaged background, or any other notable characteristics, the final decision is made based on the candidate’s overall strength as represented by the application quality and interview. We also consider one’s ability to be a cultural ambassador and his/her ability and motivation to give back to the community.
Following are the main selection steps:
- The first round of testing is open to all applicants who meet the eligibility criteria above and will take place before the date to be announced the last week of August. It includes a preliminary online application and three essay questions which must be submitted within 10 days of starting the application. After submitting the preliminary application, selected students will be invited to take part in Round 2, which consists of an online English test.
- A selection committee will evaluate online applications and select semifinalists. 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.
September-December: Program is announced and Round 1 and 2 of the selection process takes place
April-June: All applicants will be notified of their application results via email
June- August: Pre-departure orientation is held, and grantees depart to the United States