FLEX Program

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program was established in 1992 as the centerpiece of the Eurasian Secondary School Initiative under the FREEDOM Support Act. Former Senator Bill Bradley asserted that the best way to ensure long-lasting peace and understanding between the U.S. and Eurasian countries is to enable young people to learn about the U.S. and Americans firsthand. FLEX served as the model for the Kennedy-Lugar-Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, begun in 2003, and for the American Serbia and Montenegro Youth Leadership Exchange (A-SMYLE) program, begun in 2005.

Since 1993, FLEX has provided scholarships to over 24,000 secondary school students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan to attend U.S. high school for a full academic year while living with a volunteer host family. Students learn about themselves and the world, and create friendships that last a lifetime.

In 2015, FLEX is delighted to welcome seven new countries to its portfolio: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, and Serbia. Students from Serbia and Montenegro participated under the auspices of the A-SMYLE program from 2005-2015, and will now become part of FLEX.

The goal of the FLEX program is to promote mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and countries across Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia while giving students from these regions the opportunity to learn about the U.S. and its institutions while teaching Americans about their countries.

Alumni return home galvanized and inspired to share their new experiences and knowledge and make a profound and positive impact on their home countries and communities. To learn more about the impressive accomplishments of FLEX alumni, visit

Contact name: Valerie G. Frank
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High school students; eligibility requirements vary by country and are published annually. Click here for details.


Fully funded 

Funded By:

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Partners include: