The Embassy of the United States in Lithuania and American Councils for International Education are pleased to invite students to participate in the FLEX program. This exchange program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and seeks to bring bright and talented Lithuanian high school students to live with an American host family and study in an American high school for the 2024-25 academic year. Application deadline: 10/10/2023
What is the FLEX program?
The FLEX program was created by the United States Congress in 1992. It established a year-long, fully funded exchange program for secondary school students to travel to the United States for a year. The goal of the program is to promote mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and countries in the region, as students learn more about the U.S. and teach Americans about their countries. Each scholarship recipient will live for one year as a member of a U.S. host family and study in an American high school.
Secondary school students with disabilities are invited to participate in the competition. The participation requirements are expanded for students with disabilities. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Application deadline: 10/10/2023
Who is eligible to apply to the program?
The competition is open to all students who meet the following eligibility criteria:
- have Lithuanian citizenship
- are born between 15 July 2006 and 15 July 2009
- are currently enrolled in grade 9 or 10 of a Lithuanian high school
- study English in secondary school
- meet the requirements for receiving a U.S. visa and have not spent more than 3 months of the last five years in the U.S.
What does the scholarship provide?
The FLEX scholarship provides the following:
- 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
- Placement with a selected and screened U.S. host family for one 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 is NOT provided?
The FLEX scholarship 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
- International telephone calls or internet use costs
The first round of testing is open to all applicants who meet the eligibility criteria above and will take place before October 10, 2023. It includes a preliminary online application and three essay questions which must be submitted within 10 days of starting the application. After submitting the preliminary application, selected students will be invited to take part in Round 2, which consists of an online English test.
Eligible applicants can apply here: https://discoverflex.org/apply.
What happens after the online application completion?
Students compete in several rounds of online competition. At the semi-finalist stage, students and their parents are invited to attend an informational meeting to learn more about the program. Students then take part in an individual interview with American Councils staff, take a standardized test of English, write proctored essays, and receive the official program application, which is due to American Councils within ten days.
Selection will be based on merit and demonstrated preparedness for a year-long exchange experience as evidenced in students’ applications. English-language proficiency is important, but 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.
The selection process will be completed in spring, and all applicants will receive notification of their status by mid-May. Selected finalists will attend a pre-departure orientation in their home country in June-July and travel to the U.S. in July-August. Students return home the following May-June. FLEX students 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.
Who organizes the program?
American Councils for International Education organizes recruitment, selection, orientation, and travel arrangements for the FLEX program. Founded in 1974, American Councils is an international non-profit organization working to improve mutual understanding between countries, exchange ideas among individuals, and enhance collaboration through education. For almost 50 years, American Councils has been designing, implementing, and supporting innovative programs in the United States, Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa for tens of thousands of participants. These include several U.S. government programs for secondary school students (besides FLEX), university and graduate students, teachers, and professors. Many other private, non-profit organizations in the United States also support the FLEX program. The U.S. government has asked these organizations to place FLEX participants in supportive U.S. host families and to organize local activities during the year-long program.
Where can I get more information?