Current Opportunities

1. Spring 2022 Academic Fellows Program (Deadline: November 15, 2021)


Download the application form




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.

If conditions allow, participants will travel to the U.S. in fall 2022 or spring 2023 to participate in educational and cultural activities inside and outside of the classroom, lectures, and site visits to local communities.  The in-person component in the United States will be organized taking into consideration all necessary safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local, and campus authorities.

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 Arizona 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 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 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.




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.




October 15, 2021 (Friday) Application opens for Bruneian applicants
November 15, 2021 (Monday), 12:00PM Application closes for Bruneian applicants
November 16 – 30, 2021 Application review
December 6 – 10, 2021 In-person interview at the Embassy (Only semi-finalists will be notified and contacted by phone).
Early to mid January 2022 Announcement of selected finalists
Spring 2022 Virtual program commences
Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 Participants travel to the U.S., subject to travel conditions


Download the application form


The completed form must be emailed to (with email subject “Spring 2022 YSEALI AFP Application”) before or by MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2021 @ 12:00PM.

For any inquiries, contact Billah Hasan (Alumni Coordinator) at or Whatsapp +673-8724904.



2. 2022 Professional Fellows Program (Deadline: November 15, 2021)


Program info:

Direct application portal: 


The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Professional Fellows Program (YSEALI PFP) is a fully-funded exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. YSEALI PFP provides emerging leaders from Southeast Asia the opportunity to spend five to six weeks in the United States gaining professionally relevant fellowship experiences at non-profit, public, or private sector organizations. The program is designed to promote mutual understanding, enhance Fellows’ leadership and professional skills, and build lasting and sustainable partnerships between emerging leaders in Southeast Asia and the United States. YSEALI PFP is administered under four Institute themes:

  1. Civic Engagement
  2. Economic Empowerment
  3. Governance and Society
  4. Sustainable Development and the Environment

YSEALI PFP is open to professionals age 25-35 from any of the eleven YSEALI countries. Applications for the 2022 YSEALI Professional Fellows Program are open from October 1 – November 15, 2021. There are four YSEALI PFP themes (as mentioned above) and two program cycles, with in-person programming tentatively scheduled for June-July (cycle 1) and September-October (cycle 2). Applicants will be able to select their preferred theme and program cycle in the application.




October 1, 2021 Application opens online at
November 15, 2021 Application closes
January 3 – 21, 2022 Interviews for all four YSEALI PFP themes in all 11 countries (ASEAN + Timor Leste)
Late January 2022 Final selection/confirmation, applicants will be notified of their status
February – May 2022 Hybrid program virtual activities take place (Cycle 1 Institutes)
May – August 2022 Hybrid program virtual activities take place (Cycle 2 Institutes)
June 13 – July 22, 2022 Cycle 1 Institutes in the U.S.
September 12 – October 21, 2022 Cycle 2 Institutes in the U.S.


Download the program details and FAQs