Provided by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Academic Fellowships in Russia supports U.S.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program promotes mutual understanding between citizens of the United States and 17 countries across Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia.
FLEX exchange students live with a volunteer host family for one academic year to learn about American values, attend a U.S. high school, and teach Americans about their home countries. Students learn about themselves and the world, and create friendships that last a lifetime. Alumni return home galvanized and inspired to share their new experiences and positively impact their home countries and communities.
FLEX 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 United States and Americans firsthand.
Since 1993, FLEX has provided scholarships to over 26,000 secondary school students from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
FLEX served as the model for the 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. Students from Serbia and Montenegro participated under the auspices of the A-SMYLE program from 2005-2015 and are now part of FLEX.
To learn more about the impressive accomplishments of FLEX alumni, visit www.bradleyherald.org. To learn more about FLEX, visit www.discoverflex.org.
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