Applications for the 2022-2023 MEPI Student Leaders Program are open!

Program Dates: June 29 – July 28, 2022
Application deadline: December 13, 2021

The U.S Embassy in Israel will start receiving applications for the 2022-2023 Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Student Leaders Program from October13, 2021 till December 13, 2021.

Program Overview: The Student Leaders Program (SLP) is a rigorous leadership and civic engagement program for up to 64 competitively selected undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 20 and 24 from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Students are placed in U.S. universities where they complete academic coursework, develop leadership and project management skills, and expand their understanding of civil society and participatory governance processes in the United States and MENA region. The cornerstone of the program is the development of Community Engagement Plans (CEP), where each student identifies an issue/opportunity that they would like to improve in their communities. During the program, students will have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in community service activities, and meet civil society organizations.

The Student Leaders Program (SLP) is a yearlong three-part program: pre-summer, summer, and post-summer with the most intensive part taking place during the summer. The summer program is an intensive 5-week program and is tentatively scheduled to take place from June 29 until July 28, 2022. The summer program will either be a virtual, hybrid, or in-person program depending on the state of the global pandemic. Upon completion of the summer program, students will implement their Community Engagement Plans and receive follow-on support, training, and professional networking opportunities, including joining the 2,000 strong MEPI Alumni network.  A competitive follow-on Accelerator Workshop may be held in the MENA region.

Logistics: The program is fully funded by the US State Department through the US Embassy in Israel. It is anticipated that participants will arrive and depart through Washington, D.C. in order to participate in U.S. Department of State welcome and farewell ceremonies and informational briefings and debriefings. Due to the rigorous academic and program schedule, travel to visit family or friends elsewhere in the United States will not be permitted before, during (including on weekends during the academic residency period), or after the program. Students must immediately return home upon conclusion of the program. All participants are expected to travel unaccompanied.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Participant must be an Arab citizen of Israel currently living and studying in Israel.
  • Applicants must be a student studying at a university or a college in Israel;
  • Must have ability to fully participate in the intensive summer program in late June 2022 to the end of July 2022;
  • Are 20 to 24 years of age as of the program start date of June 29, 2022 and end date of July 28, 2022 (birth dates falling between July 28, 1998 and June 29, 2002);
  • Demonstrate the strong English language skills needed to participate in a U.S. academic program;
  • Are committed to returning to or remaining in their home country/community following completion of the program;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement;
  • Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States;
  • Are not a third-country national of the nominating country;
  • Have a sustained high level of academic achievement and currently attending an undergraduate or graduate program, have graduated from an undergraduate program within 6 months or less from the program start date of June 29, 2022 or will commence graduate studies in the Fall 2022 semester in their home country; will not be commencing study in an undergraduate or graduate degree program in the USA during the fall 2022 USA academic semester;
  • Preference will be given to those applicants from households with limited family income, no prior travel experience in the United States or Canada, and limited to no study or travel experience outside their home country;
  • Are willing and able to participate fully in virtual or in person intensive academic, community service, and educational travel activities;
  • In the case of an in-person program, are 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
  • In the case of an in-person program, are comfortable living with another program participant of the same sex in a shared room as well as traveling to the USA and participating in the program without any accompanying friends or family members.
  • In the case of a fully virtual or hybrid program, are able to balance competing obligations of the intensive program with home circumstances of family, school, work, etc; exhibit time management skills; demonstrate a flexible and positive attitude to want to learn and engage with a multinational group of participants from the Middle East and North Africa region and with U.S. citizens.
  • We seek a gender-balanced pool of candidates and give preference to traditionally under-served participants. Students from low-income backgrounds and limited travel experience are highly encouraged to apply. While nominees may be undergraduate or graduate students in any field of academic specialization, it is critical that. SLP does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical challenge or social status.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously traveled to the United States. At the time of application and while participating in the program, participants cannot hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.

Ineligibility:

Department of State, USAID or any other USG employees and their immediate family members (spouses and dependent children) are NOT eligible to apply to MEPI exchange programs. If a State Department Officer or Locally Employed Staff and/or his/her immediate family members would like to apply to a DOS-funded MEPI exchange program, the applicant(s) may only do so after a period of one year after termination of DOS employment. Current employees (and immediate family members) of any private or public agencies under contract to DOS to that perform administrative, implementation, and/or screening services on behalf of DOS for the exchange program are also NOT eligible to apply to participate in the exchange program.

Application and Deadline:

The interested candidates should submit their application online through the following link: https://studentleaders-apply.smapply.io/ by December 13, 2021. Please note that you need to create an account in order to sign-in and submit your application, so make sure you start the process ahead of time! Don’t wait till the last day!

For any question or technical problem please send an email to mepitelaviv@state.gov

Student Leaders Program

Student Leaders Program. The Student Leaders Program (SLP) is a rigorous leadership and civic engagement program for competitively selected undergraduate and graduate students between the ages of 20 and 24 from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

studentleaders-apply.smapply.io
The SLP online application includes the following candidate criteria information:

  • Candidate’s complete contact information, including mailing address, email, and phone number;
  • Candidate’s updated resume highlighting civic engagement, leadership and/or work experience, extracurricular activities, and academic honors;
  • A copy of the photo page of candidate’s passport;
  • Name of candidate’s college/university and anticipated degree completion dates;
  • Candidate’s field of study;
  • Evidence of high academic achievement;
  • Details of any previous travel or study outside of home country, including dates; and
  • Candidate’s response to three questions (500 words or less per response):
  • The Student Leaders program offers outstanding students leadership training to expand their understanding of and potential contribution to civic and economic engagements.  How are you a leader?  True leaders constantly evolve.  Provide us with 1-3 concrete examples of how you built and strengthened your advocacy capacity and skills in dealing with a challenge.  Did you use your leadership skills to cope with a problem, enact change, or help and inspire others?  What did you learn from this experience?  How has your leadership style improved as a result?  What was the impact of this change on you and the people around you?
  • Tell us about a public figure whose moral convictions you most aspire to emulate.  Which key characteristics of that person do you see within yourself, and in which ways are you dissimilar?  Discuss how these characteristics sometimes prove to be negative.  Be creative: this person can be from any era.  We strongly encourage that you select someone the selection committee would recognize by avoiding relatives or teachers.
  • Imagine that you win a $50,000 grant to engage in an activity within your reach.  The project must be concrete and be done within one year and benefit your community (cannot include bringing peace to your country or solving world hunger).  The endeavor you choose should promote self-growth as a leader and significantly affect your community.  Please provide details of how you would spend your year, why are you motivated to do this, and what are the benefits that this endeavor would bring to yourself and to your community.

 

Personal Interview:

The U.S. Embassy will conduct personal interviews for selected candidates. Participants travel to the U.S. on a J-1 visa to be facilitated by the Embassy upon acceptance.

All Applicants will be notified around April 2022, whether they’ve passed the first stage or were rejected. PLEASE NOTE: Incomplete or late applications will NOT be accepted.

Thank you for your interest in the MEPI Students Leaders Program.

Join us for a zoom info session on November 10 at 15:00. Registration link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1929Dn_D-yN4if3H1-275FJ4zVfZvtysJzu2ZfYlcvXU/edit?usp=sharing

We look forward to receiving your application!

For more information on MEPI please check http://mepi.state.gov

MEPI FAQ Page: https://mepi.state.gov/leadership/faqs/ and scroll down to the 2022 MEPI Student Leaders Program