What is FLEX?
Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program launched in 1993, on Senator Bill Bradley’s idea who believed the best way to achieve mutual understanding and peace is to bring young people closer to each other. To enable international youth to learn about the American life and culture living in the United States while Americans can also learn about foreign cultures and people.
FLEX is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, operating in several countries in Europe and Asia. Each year, over 35,000 students compete worldwide in multiple rounds of testing to earn the scholarship.
The scholarship provides a full academic year living with an American host family, attending a U.S. high school, enabling participants to fully immerse into the American culture.
FLEX students gain a whole new skillset while studying, they also act as “ambassadors” of their countries and teach Americans about their home countries, cultures, habits. FLEX students also participate in many extracurricular activities, including community service in their U.S. communities and volunteer projects. Many FLEX students bring home the spirit of volunteering to their home countries and they often launch local community projects upon their return.
FLEX in numbers
- 29,000 + Alumni
- 1,500.000 hours of community service in the U.S.
- 22 countries in Europe and Asia
- 380+ Alumni with disabilities
In Hungary, the first FLEX class started in 2019, with 10 students. In 2021, 14 students got the opportunity to participate in the upcoming academic year.
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
- One-time allowance to help students to cover the start of the school year
- Placement with a selected and screened U.S. host family for the academic 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
What does the Scholarship NOT provide?
- The FLEX Program 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 bills
Who organizes the FLEX Program?
The American Councils for International Education oversees recruitment, selection and preparing the students and the travel.
The American Councils is an international NGO, established in 1974, with the aim to foster understanding among countries. In the past 40 years, the NGO developed and supported innovative programs in the United States, Eurasia, Middle East, Asia, and Africa for thousands of people in various educational programs, sponsored by the Department of State.
Profile of Applicants
To apply you must meet with all the requirements above:
- Be a citizen of Hungary and able to receive a Hungarian passport
- Birth date between 2006. 07. 15 and 2009. 07. 15.
- Be enrolled in 9th or 10th grade of high-school located in Hungary
- Your overall grades are good (4)
- Have previously studied English and demonstrate English language ability at the time of registration
- Meet U.S. visa eligibility requirements
To study abroad is an amazing opportunity however it is also a challenge. The participants who receive the scholarship should be proving their:
- Ability to adapt
- Strong motivation towards this opportunity
- Readiness to accept new circumstances
- Good communication skills
- Ideas on how to use the new skillset they will gain during this program upon their return
Selection is based on personal performance, made by an individual American board. English language knowledge and good grades are important, however based on the above they are not the only requirement.
FLEX encourages students with disabilities to apply. Applicants with disabilities should be born between 2006.02.15. and 2009. 07.15 and they should be attending 9th, 10th or 11th grade.
How to apply
The first round is an online application, which contains personal data and three essay questions. Once you register, you have 10 days to complete your application. After submitting your application, the second round is a short English test. Participants who pass both the first and second round will get to the third round, including the following:
- English language test
- Essay writing
- Personal Interview
- Filling out a complex application form
Selection will be based on merit and demonstrated preparedness for a year-long exchange experience as evidenced in students’ comprehensive applications. English language proficiency is important, but it is 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. Decisions are made by an independent committee in Washington, DC.
Fall: First and second round of Selection
November-December: Selection of participants to the third round
December- January: Third round of Selection
May: Announcing the winners
To apply, and for more information, visit the Hungarian office of the American Councils: https://hungary.americancouncils.org
The online application deadline for the 2024/2025 school year is September 28, 2023.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit https://www.facebook.com/americancouncilshu for news and personal stories about the current and past participants