Empowering Young Leaders

Empowering Young Leaders: Turkey-U.S. Political Exchange Summer 2012
Public Affairs
The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday, ­­­January 6th.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Applications should be emailed to [email protected] . The subject heading of the email should read as follows: [University Name], [City], [Student Name]
Example: Çukurova University, Adana, Mustafa Öztürk

U.S. Embassy Ankara in partnership with World Learning is pleased to announce our Empowering Young Leaders Civic Participation program.  This program seeks Turkish undergraduate students who are interested in traveling to America for three weeks during the summer/fall of 2012 to learn firsthand about the American democratic process. Successful applicants will gain valuable experience so that they may become agents of effective and peaceful social change in their own country.  Students who have a strong sense of civic duty, openness to new ideas, and an interest in learning about the democratic process of the United States are strongly encouraged to apply.  The program will focus on experiential learning, which combines the academic and theoretical with the vocational and practical in order to provide the student with direct experience. Turkish participants will be partnered with young Americans involved in political work, allowing them to witness American politics from the perspective of their U.S. peers. 

Selectees can expect to emerge from the program with a better capacity to be civil leaders, a significant understanding of the American political system at the local, state, federal and NGO level, and a plan of how to implement their experiences in Turkey. The program will occur in late summer 2012, at which time the Presidential/Congressional election campaigns will be in full swing. 

Other Essential Information
Program Funding:  The United States government will cover all participant costs, including international travel; travel and ground transportation in the U.S.; housing and subsistence expenses.

Housing and Meal Arrangements:
Health Insurance: All participants will receive the U.S. Department of State’s coverage of $50,000 with a $15 co-pay for the duration of the program.  Pre-existing conditions are not covered.
Program Requirements and Restrictions:  Participants are expected to participate fully in the program.  They are expected to attend all program events and organized activities, and may be expected to complete assignments following certain activities after the day’s activities are completed.  Due to the intensive nature of the program, there will be no free days for participants to pursue other interests during their stay in the United States.

Under no circumstances are participants allowed to arrive in the U.S. prior to the start date of the program or remain in the U.S. after its end date. Similarly, participants will not be allowed to leave the program 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 program director.

Violations of host institution rules or local, state or federal laws can be grounds for immediate dismissal from the program.
English Language Ability:  It is imperative that all candidates demonstrate English language fluency in order to successfully participate in program events.

Candidate Description and Qualifications:  The participants are expected to be highly motivated first- through third-year undergraduate students from colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education, who have a strong interest in civic involvement and government and who have demonstrated leadership through academic work, community involvement, and extracurricular activities.  Fourth year students or those graduating from university this year will not be accepted.  Their fields of study will be varied and will include political science, international development/relations, management, social work, sociology, and other professional fields.   Applicants with involvement in student government and civic organizations are strongly encouraged to apply.  All participants must have a good knowledge of English.  The Embassy welcomes applicants from both rural and urban areas, with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside Turkey.
Candidates nominated for this program will:

•Have a strong interest in civic engagement, being a community leader and in engaging in democratic processes;
•Be typically 25 years of age or younger;
•Be returning to their home universities for at least one year after participating in the program;
•Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university and community activities;
•Indicate a serious interest in learning about the democratic process in the United States;
•Have a sustained high level of academic achievement, as indicated in grades, awards, and teacher recommendations;
•Have demonstrated commitment to community and extracurricular university activities;
•Have had little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of Turkey;
•Be mature, responsible, independent, confident, tolerant, flexible, thoughtful and inquisitive;
•Be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive program in a potentially unfamiliar environment
•Have an open mind and willingness to critically consider pre-conceived notions or ideas
•Have a good knowledge of English; English fluency is vital to a successful experience in the institute.

In mid January 2012 some candidates will be invited to participate in an interview either in person or via skype.  Following this, individuals can expect to hear the results of their candidacy by mid-March 2012.  Only those selected for an interview will be informed regarding their status.  If you have not received a telephone call/email from the Embassy by mid-January you have not proceeded to the next phase of the process.