Calling for Applications: YSEALI Academic Fellowships – Spring 2019

Application Deadline: November 4, 2018

The YSEALI Academic Fellowships are intensive short term academic institutes 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, and the five-week Institutes will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.  The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by educational travel, site visits, leadership activities, and volunteer opportunities within the local community. The Institutes will include an academic residency component of approximately four weeks and a domestic study tour of approximately one week.  During the academic residency, participants will also have the opportunity to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom.

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 Institute will define civic engagement, examine its development in the U.S., and explore topics such as citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, political leadership, and volunteerism.  Other topics such as civil rights, entrepreneurship, ethics, leadership, and media will be discussed.  Fellows will also have the opportunity to leave the classroom to meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of non-profit organizations. The academic residency will be complemented by an educational tour that will take participants to another area of the U.S. where they will meet with local, state, private, and not-for-profit organizations working in the field.  The Institute will then conclude with a visit to Washington, D.C.  The Fellowships will be hosted by the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Arizona State University from March 23 to April 27, 2019.

The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Environmental Issues and Natural Resource Management will explore the role that environmental policy has played in the economic and political development of the United States.  The Institute will use experiential learning techniques to expose participants to current themes in the field, including natural resource management, sustainable development/sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, energy generation (new and traditional forms), and water management and treatment.  The issues will be explored from numerous angles: local grassroots activism and civic initiatives, market-oriented approaches, 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 leave the classroom to meet with community leaders, and representatives of non-profit organizations.  The academic residency will be complemented by an educational tour that will take participants to another area of the U.S. where they will meet with local, state, private, and nonprofit organizations working in the field.  The Fellowships will then conclude with a visit to Washington, D.C. The Fellowship will be hosted by the University of Montana and the East-West Center from April 3 to May 8, 2019.

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 issues. The Fellowships will review the development, history, challenges, and successes of social enterprises and community leaders, in the United States and globally.  Topics may 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 leave the classroom to meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of nonprofit organizations. The academic residency will be complemented by an educational study tour that will take participants to other parts of the United States where they will meet with local, state, private, and nonprofit organizations working in the field. The Fellowship will then conclude with a visit to in Washington, DC. The Fellowships will be hosted by the University of Connecticut and Brown University from March 23 to April 26, 2019.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants must be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 25 at the time of application;
  • A YSEALI member – if you are not a YSEALI member yet, click here to register and become a member;
  • A Cambodian citizen;
  • 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; and
  • Eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa. (For information about the J-1 visa, please visit http://j1visa.state.gov/.)

What are the selection criteria?

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 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.

How do I apply?

If you are already a member of YSEALI and would like to apply for this Fellowship, please submit your applications including a completed application form and supporting documents no later than November 4, 2018

The supporting documents may include your degrees/certificates, transcripts, and TOEFL score report (if available). They should be combined in one PDF file, and be submitted by email to the Public Affairs Section, U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh, Attn: Applying for Spring 2019 YSEALI Academic Fellowship, email: PASExchanges@state.gov

Application form can be downloaded here (DOC: 169KB). Application Deadline: November 4, 2018

Other Essential Program Information

* Program Funding: The U.S. Department of State will cover all participant costs, including: program administration; domestic travel and ground transportation; book, cultural, mailing and incidental allowances, housing and subsistence, international travel costs, and other travel allowances within set limits.

* Housing and Meal Arrangements: Housing will be in university dorms or university hotels. Fellows may be expected to share a room and bathroom with another student of the same gender. Most meals will be provided at campus facilities, though Fellows 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.

* Health Benefits: All participants will receive the Department of State’s coverage of $100,000 with a $25 co-pay for the duration of the program. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Information on the health benefit program may be found online at usdos.sevencorners.com.

* Program Requirements and Restrictions: Fellows are expected to fully participate in the academic program. They should attend all lectures and organized activities, and complete assigned readings. Candidates should be made aware that the Institutes are very intensive and that there will be little time for personal pursuits unrelated to the program.

Under no circumstances are Fellows allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the Institute or remain in the U.S. after its end date. Similarly, Fellows will not be permitted to leave the Institute to visit relatives or friends while in the U.S. If a relative or friend wishes to visit them, it will be addressed on a case by case basis, in consultation with the ECA program officer and the host institution.

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.

* English Language Ability: All candidates should be proficient in English so that they can actively participate in the academic program. Host institutions will take into account that the level of comprehension and speaking ability of Fellows may vary, and will prepare lectures and discussions that meet the highest academic standards while using language appropriate for Fellows where English is their second or third language.