Current Opportunities

Spring 2020 Academic Fellows Program (deadline: November 3, 2019) – Download the form here

The YSEALI Academic Fellows Program is an intensive short-term academic program whose purpose is to provide groups of young leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States and a particular theme, while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills. The program will bring exceptional young leaders aged 18-25 from Southeast Asian countries to the United States in spring 2020 for five weeks to network with policy makers, government representatives, businesses, and think tanks. The Fellowship offers three themes: Civic Engagement, Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management, and Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.

 The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Civic Engagement will provide Fellows with an overview of how citizens have shaped U.S. history, government, and society both as individuals and groups.  The Fellowship will define civic engagement, examine its development in the United States, and explore topics such as citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, and volunteerism.  Other topics such as civil rights, entrepreneurship, ethics, leadership, and media will be discussed.  Fellows will also have the opportunity to leave the classroom to meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of non-profit organizations.  The University of Nebraska – Omaha and Arizona State University will each host one Fellowship on this theme from March 14 to April 18, 2020.

The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management will explore the role that environmental policy has played in the economic and political development of the United States.  The Fellowship will use experiential learning techniques to expose participants to current themes in the field, including natural resource management, sustainable development/sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, energy generation (new and traditional forms), and water management and treatment.  The issues will be explored from numerous angles: local grassroots activism and civic initiatives, market-oriented approaches, and federal government policies and regulation.  Finally, the Fellowships will explore environmental issues in the context of a globalized society, and draw comparisons between the United States and the participants’ home countries.  Fellows will also have the opportunity to leave the classroom to meet with community leaders, and representatives of non-profit organizations.  The University of Montana and the East-West Center will each host one Fellowship on this theme from March 25 to April 29, 2020.

The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will provide Fellows with an overview of entrepreneurial approaches that are employed to address social and economic issues.  The Fellowship will review the development, history, challenges, and successes of enterprises and community leaders, in the United States and globally.  Topics may include, but are not limited to, trade; investment; financial literacy; banking; microfinance; organizational development and management; grant writing; innovation; emerging markets and risk analysis; strategic business planning; corporate social responsibility; and, women and minorities in entrepreneurship.  Students will also have the opportunity to leave the classroom to meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of nonprofit organizations.  The University of Connecticut and Brown University will each host one Fellowship on this theme from March 21 to April 24, 2020.

CANDIDATE DESCRIPTION AND QUALIFICATIONS:

The YSEALI Academic Fellows are expected to be full-time undergraduate students from college, university, or other institutions of higher learning; or have graduated in the past four years, who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, extracurricular activities, or their profession.  Their fields of study will be varied, and may include the sciences, social sciences, humanities, education, business, and other professional fields.  Please note the Embassy’s commitment to inclusion of people with disabilities in all YSEALI programming. Host universities will provide special accommodations for YSEALI Academic Fellows with disabilities as needed.

Individuals applying for this program must be:
  • Between the ages of 18 and 25 at the time of application, although exceptional applicants over 25 can be considered if they meet all other eligibility requirements;
  • A citizen of one of the following countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam;
  • A resident of one of the following countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam;
  • A full-time undergraduate student from college, university, or other institutions of higher learning; or have graduated in the past four years;
  • Proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English;
  • Not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
  • Eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa; and
For the selection criteria, applicants should:
  • Demonstrate interest, knowledge, or professional experience in Civic Engagement, Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management, or Entrepreneurship and Economic Development;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university, place of work, and/or community;
  • Demonstrate a commitment or interest in community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
  • Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States and Southeast Asia as a region;
  • Be willing to actively participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and study tour;
  • Have a commitment to return to their home country to apply leadership skills and training to benefit their community, country, or the region of Southeast Asia; and
  • Preferably, have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States.
APPLICATION TIMELINE:
  •  November 3 – Application deadline
  • November 4 to November 22 – Application review
  • November 25 (TBC) – In-person interview at the Embassy. Only selected semi-finalists will be notified and contacted via phone.
  • Late January 2020 – Announcement of selected finalists
  • Mid-February 2020 – Visa application and pre-departure orientation
  • Late March 2020 – Selected participants departing for the U.S.
  • Late April 2020 – Selected participants returning to Brunei

Application form can be downloaded here.

The completed form must be emailed to yseali_bsb@state.gov (with email subject: Spring 2020 YSEALI Academic Fellowship Application) before SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2019.



Spring 2020 Professional Fellows Program (deadline: November 1, 2019)

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program provides emerging leaders ages 25-35 the opportunity to spend five weeks in the United States, including four weeks working directly with American counterparts in individually tailored work placements with relevant private and/or public sector organizations.  During these placements, Fellows build their practical expertise, leadership skills, and professional networks.  The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program offers exchange opportunities under the following themes:

Theme: Civic Engagement
Implementing Partner: University of Montana
Participating Countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam
Application Dates: September 1  – November 1, 2019
Apply Here. 

Theme: Economic Empowerment
Implementing Partner: American Councils
Participating Countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam
Application Dates: September 1  – November 1, 2019
Apply Here. 

Theme: Governance and Society
Implementing Partner: American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)
Participating Countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam
Application DatesSeptember 1  – November 1, 2019
Apply Here.

Theme: Sustainable Development and the Environment
Implementing Partner: International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
Participating Countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam
Application Dates: September 1  – November 1, 2019
Apply Here. 

Minimum participant requirements:
  • Emerging leaders in government, civil society, or the private sector who have demonstrated expertise pertaining to the respective theme.
  • Mid-level professionals, 25 to 35 years old at the time of participation in the program, who, at a minimum, are currently employed and have two or more years of relevant professional work experience.
  • Candidates who have demonstrated proficiency in both written and oral English that qualifies them to have “working-level knowledge of English” that has been verified by the implementing partner.
  • Candidates who are self-directed and able to work effectively in a cross-cultural setting;
  • Candidates who are genuinely interested in developing an individual project of their own selection in their home workplace or community.

Application review, candidate interviews, candidate selection, and the identification of U.S. placement hosts will occur between December 2019 and March 2020. Selected participants are expected to travel to the United States mid-April 2020 to early June 2020. The program will conclude with the Spring 2020 Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C.

Any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this YSEALI program can be directed to the Alumni Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Bandar Seri Begawan by email at yseali_bsb@state.gov.