What is the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program?

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 30,000 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.

Program Implementing Organization: American Councils Mongolia
Facebook: FLEXMongolia
Email: flex.mn@americancouncils.org
Phone: +976 9313 0647

FLEX is a unique opportunity for secondary school students from Europe and Eurasia, including students with a disability, to spend one academic year in the U.S., living with a volunteer host family and attending a U.S. high school.

First and foremost, the FLEX is an academic exchange program.  The program participants attend an American high school, where the students not only study from a wide range of classes and electives but also take part in various extracurricular activities such as sports and arts programs and clubs.

The program offers students an opportunity to learn about the people and culture of the United States.  FLEX participants are also young ambassadors who teach Americans about the people and culture of their countries.  Students gain an appreciation for and develop sensitivity to other cultures, experience personal growth and independence, and become better prepared for an increasingly interdependent world.  They form strong ties with their American host families and U.S. communities, building relationships that often last a lifetime. Many students also remark that they became more mature, independent, and focused thanks to their year abroad and that they gained important life skills.

Many program alumni attend prestigious universities upon their return home, and later find exciting jobs that use skills learned during their stay in the United States.

FLEX is a full scholarship, and the scholarship covers:

  • 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 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
  • Medical insurance, excluding pre-existing conditions and dental care.

The 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, phone bills, or internet use.

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, 2007 and July 15, 2009
  • 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, 2006 and July 15, 2009 will be eligible to apply.

To apply for the FLEX program, prospective applicants are required to follow the steps below:

  • Register online: https://ais.americancouncils.org/flex
  • Complete and submit the online tests within stated deadline.

Please direct all inquiries to flex.mn@americancouncils.org.

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:

  • Interested students compete in several rounds of online competition. The first round of the competition opens in early August and all interested applicants who meet the eligibility criteria above can participate.  It includes a preliminary online application and short English language tests that must be completed and submitted within 10 days of starting the application.
  • Students successfully passed the first round of the competition will be invited to take part in the second round within 24 hours upon completion.  The second round of the competition also consists of short English language tests.
  • And the third and last round of the selection competition consists of an individual interview with the program staff, take a standardized test of English, write proctored essays, and receive the official program application.

Selection is not only based on merit but also demonstrated preparedness for a year-long exchange experience as evidenced in students’ applications.  English-language proficiency is important, but not the sole element in selection.  Students also will be required to provide medical evaluations and be certified as medically fit to participate in the program.

August-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