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MEPI Student Leaders Program

The U.S Embassy is pleased to announce the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Program for summer 2013. The Student Leaders program is an intensive 5- to 6-week exchange program to the United States for approximately 100 undergraduate students from the Middle East and North Africa. Students are divided among up to six U.S. academic institutions where they develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society, as well as the democratic process and how both may be applied in their home communities. Participants have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in local community service activities, and observe and take part in the governmental process on the local, state, and federal levels. The institutes include academic coursework, as well as study tours to various regions of the United States. Upon completion of the U.S.-based programs, host institutes work with participants to implement civic engagement programs in their home communities. An alumni event is generally held in the region approximately 6 months after the U.S. portion of the program.

Program details:

Places targeted: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, West Bank/Gaza, and Yemen.

Who is eligible?

Ideal candidates for MEPI Student Leaders Program:

  1. Undergraduate student in any field of academic specialization;
  2. 18 to 24 years of age;
  3. Moderate English language ability;
  4. Committed to returning to their home country/community following completion of the program;
  5. Demonstrates strong leadership potential;
  6. Possesses a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  7. Achieved a high level of academic achievement;
  8. Demonstrates a commitment to civic engagement;
  9. No prior travel experience in the United States and limited study or travel experience outside Kuwait;
  10. Is willing and able to participate fully in intensive academic, community service, and educational travel activities;
  11. Is comfortable with campus life, sharing living accommodations while traveling with a multinational group of participants from the Middle East and North Africa region and with U.S. citizens, and making adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those of their home countries/communities; and
  12. Is comfortable spending a portion of Ramadan in the United States.

How do participants apply?

Participants are recruited by and apply through the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home countries and are then interviewed and nominated by Embassies. The Student Leaders Program recruitment is typically managed by the Public Affairs Office in conjunction with the local MEPI Coordinator/Administrator. Embassies conduct interviews for selected candidates. Participants travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa.

Click here to download the word document application form

  • Applications should be e-mailed to  kuwaitmepi@state.gov  by Friday February 15, 2013  
  • The U.S. Embassy will conduct personal interviews for selected candidates on February 20th .

Important dates:

The program will begin in Mid June and conclude in Early August.

Please check with the Embassy to confirm the recruitment date and application deadline.  For more information please contact Kuwaitmepi@state.gov