Current Opportunities

Fall 2022 Academic Fellows Program 

 

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URL: https://forms.gle/BcHS9dWy33QxMtjs6

Deadline for application: June 10, 2022, 10.00 a.m. (Brunei time)
PROGRAM OVERVIEW:

 

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is a public diplomacy program designed to advance regional strategic goals, break down barriers that separate the next generation of leaders in Southeast Asia, and link those emerging leaders to the United States.  To this end, the YSEALI Fellowship will bring exceptional young leaders from Southeast Asian countries to the United States to further develop their professional and leadership skills.  The Study of the U.S. Branch implements the YSEALI Academic Fellowship aimed at young leaders ages 18-25.

The YSEALI Academic Fellowship 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 Fellowship will focus on one of three themes: Civic Engagement, Environmental Issues, and Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.  The Academic Fellowship will include a virtual academic residency and an integrated in-person experience approximately two to three weeks in length at a U.S. host institution.  During the academic residency, participants will engage remotely from their home countries in Institute activities including academic sessions, site visits, leadership development exercises, and cultural activities.

The five-week programs are planned to take place in-person during the late August and early November timeframe; exact dates will be communicated prior to final selection.  Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the program will pivot to a modified virtual format.

 

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 active citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, and volunteerism.  Other topics such as civil rights, social justice, entrepreneurship, ethics, leadership, and media will be discussed.  Fellows will also have the opportunity to meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of non-profit organizations.  Throughout the Fellowship participants will develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities.  The University of Nebraska – Omaha and Portland State University will each conduct and host one Institute.

 

The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Environmental Issues 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 climate change, sustainable development/sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, renewable energy generation, and water management and treatment.  Fellows will explore the issues from numerous angles: local grassroots activism and civic initiatives, impacts on marginalized communities, private sector approaches, global multilateral efforts, and federal government policies and regulation.  Finally, the Fellowship 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 meet with community leaders, and representatives of non-profit organizations.  The University of Montana and the East-West Center will each conduct and host one Institute.

 

The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Social 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 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 meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of nonprofit organizations.  The University of Connecticut and the University of Texas-Austin will each conduct and host one Institute.

 

OTHER ESSENTIAL PROGRAM INFORMATION:

 

Program Funding: Through cooperative agreements to the host universities, ECA will cover all participant costs, including program administration; international and visa travel, travel allowances, domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances; and housing and subsistence.  If the program is conducted virtually, ECA will work with the cooperative partners to provide a technology stipend to the Fellows.

 

Program Requirements and Restrictions: Candidates should be made aware that they are applying for an intensive and rigorous academic program and are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the Fellowship. Participants must attend all lectures, participate in all required organized activities, and complete all assignments.  Family members and/or friends may not accompany or join participants for any part of the program.  Please make these requirements clear to all nominees.

 

English Language AbilityEnglish Language proficiency is required to participate in this program.  All candidates must be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program.

 

Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in shared or single university dorms on campus or full-service hotels within walking distance of most classroom activities.  Male and female participants will be housed in separate quarters.  In addition to regular group meals and a university meal plan, participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own.

Care will be taken to ensure that any special requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.  Special accommodations will be made available to the greatest extent possible.  Should a participant need to quarantine due to positive COVID-19 test results, accommodations will follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.

 

Health Benefits:  All participants will receive the Department of State’s Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) health benefit during the U.S.-based in-person component, which provides coverage of up to $100,000 with a $25 co-pay per medical visit and a $75 co-pay per emergency room visit, for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions may be covered up to $100,000, subject to policy exclusions and limitations.  ASPE also covers up to $500 for routine COVID-19 testing requirements in the United States.  COVID-19 is treated like any other illness under the ASPE health benefits plan.  Information on the health benefit program may be found online at https://www.sevencorners.com/gov/usdos.

 

Travel Policy: Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the United States prior to the start date of the Fellowship or remain in the United States after the end date.  Similarly, participants will not be permitted to leave the Fellowship to visit relatives or friends while in the United States.  If a relative or friend wishes to visit a participant, it will be considered on a case- by-case basis in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.  Participants are required to return to their home countries immediately following the end of the Institute.

Violations of program rules, host institution rules, or local, state, or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.  It is important that these requirements and restrictions be made clear to all candidates before nominations are submitted.

 

Virtual Program Contingency: Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the Academic Fellowship will pivot to a virtual format.  The virtual program would consist of a minimum of 36 hours of required programming with a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning.  To the extent possible, the virtual programming would include lectures, small group discussions, videos, readings, panels, site visits, leadership development, assignments, and individual and group activities.  Participants would be expected to fully participate in the entire virtual program from their location.

 

Connectivity: Should the program need to pivot to a virtual format, participants would need access to a computer and a stable internet connection.  If a participant does not have access to these two items, the cooperative partners will work with the Fellow and post to facilitate access.

Participants will be expected to actively engage in all program activities, and therefore, they should notify immediately the host institution, post of any issues with their online access during the duration of the program as well as any difficulties affecting their participation.

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 our commitment to inclusion of people with disabilities in all our programming. Host universities will provide special accommodations for YSEALI Academic Fellows with disabilities as needed.

Candidates nominated 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

Selection criteria; successful applicants should:

  • Demonstrate interest, knowledge, or professional experience in Civic Engagement, Environmental Issues, or Social 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 virtual 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:

 

May 13, 2022 (Friday) Application opens for Bruneian applicants
June 10, 2022 (Friday), 10:00 a.m. Application closes for Bruneian applicants
June 13 – 17, 2022 Application review
June 24, 2022 (Friday)* tbc In-person or virtual interview. Only semi-finalists will be notified.
Late July to early August 2022 Announcement of selected finalists (4 slots available)
September 2022* tbc Virtual program commences
Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 Participants travel to the U.S., subject to travel conditions

 

Click here to start your application

 

The online application form must be submitted no later than FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022 @ 10:00 A.M.
For any inquiries, contact yseali_bsb@state.gov or Whatsapp +673-8724904.