Application and Selection Process
Independent panels of American professionals in education and international relations in the United States will select program finalists and alternates. Selection will be based on merit as evidenced in a comprehensive application; teacher reference; and demonstrated preparedness for a year-long exchange experience. Students also will be required to provide medical evaluations and be certified as medically fit to participate in the program. The selection process will be completed in spring 2014, and all applicants will receive notification of their status by mid-May 2014. English-language proficiency is important but it is not the sole element in selection.
Upon notification, finalists, alternates and their parents will receive orientation materials to prepare them for departure. They must officially notify their FLEX representative in writing that they accept the scholarship and must provide any additional documentation requested as well. Students must begin the process of applying for an international passport and U.S. visa immediately upon acceptance to the program. From May through August 2014, selected U.S. exchange organizations will match finalists with qualified U.S. host families and arrange for enrollment in local secondary schools. In June and July 2014, scholarship recipients will participate in a pre-program orientation in their home country. Students will then travel to their U.S. host families and communities to begin the exchange experience in August 2014.
Please note: Students participating in the FLEX program must return to their home country at the end of the program on the date assigned by American Councils. The U.S. visa issued for program participants will not be amended or extended beyond the program end date for any reason.
Representatives of American Councils will visit the capitals of regions (oblasts) and autonomous republics within the eleven participating countries to conduct testing during fall 2013. Applicants should come to the designated testing center at the time of initial registration and bring proof of eligibility (birth certificate), one recent 3x4 cm photo, and a pen. Testing center locations will be announced as soon as possible through press and radio announcements; information can be accessed via Internet at www.americancouncils.org, Programs form Eurasia. Applicants may only participate in round 1 testing at ONE test center in fall 2013. All applicants will take a short English test (round 1). Those who pass the first test will take a longer English- language proficiency test and write a composition in English (round 2, whish usually occurs on the day after round 1). Candidates must successfully complete the first two rounds of the competition before they receive final application materials and are interviewed. After successful completion of rounds 1 and 2, English language ability is no longer considered as a basis for selection.