FLEX student with her host parents and baby host brother.
What is FLEX?
1993-1994 was the first program year of the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program. FLEX was created from the belief of former Senator Bill Bradley that the best way to ensure long-lasting peace and mutual understanding between the U.S. and the countries of Eurasia is to enable young people to learn about the U.S. and Americans firsthand, and to teach Americans about their countries.
FLEX is a highly competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the U.S. Department of State that operates in Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Over 35,000 students compete annually in multiple rounds of testing to earn a FLEX scholarship, which provides for them to spend an academic year in the United States living with a volunteer host family and attending a U.S. high school.
While in the U.S., FLEX students gain leadership skills, learn about American society and values, and teach Americans about their home countries and cultures. FLEX students perform community service in their U.S. communities and act as ambassadors of their home countries. Many are inspired by this spirit of volunteerism to develop and implement innovative projects in their home countries, using the skills and ideas they gained while on program. FLEX students are naturally curious and enthusiastic citizens of the world.