The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries through a range of programs based on the benefits of mutual understanding, international educational and cultural exchange, and leadership development. These programs engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in many fields in the U.S. and more than 160 countries through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges. ECA exchange program alumni encompass over 1 million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and over 350 current and former heads of state and government.
Some major exchange programs are listed below in alphabetical order:
American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)
Founded in 1966, ACYPL is a bi-partisan, not-for-profit organization based in Washington DC, which has become internationally recognized as the pre-eminent catalyst for introducing rising political leaders and policy makers to international affairs and to each other through various programs and exchanges with more than 90 nations around the globe.
AFS - Intercultural Programs
AFS (formerly the American Field Service) is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world. AFS-USA works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools, and communities through a global volunteer partnership. See also AFS Turkey coordinated by Turkish Cultural Foundation (Türk Kültür Vakfı) since 1974.
Au Pair Programs
Through the Au Pair program, participants and host families take part in a mutually rewarding, intercultural opportunity. Participants can continue their education while experiencing everyday life with an American family, and hosts receive reliable and responsible childcare from individuals who become part of the family.
Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows: Summer Institutes for Youth
The Summer Institutes for Youth, a program under the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Initiative, focuses primarily on the exploration of global issues through interactive activities, practical experiences, and other hands-on opportunities. Through their participation, the fellows learn more about democratic practices, volunteer service, conflict resolution, critical thinking, tolerance and respect for diversity, and youth leadership.
Community College Initiatives Program (CCIP)
CCIP provides opportunities for individuals from countries including Brazil, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Turkey, and South Africa to develop leadership, professional skills and English language proficiency, while studying at a community college in the United States. Participants study in one of the following eligible fields: Agriculture, applied engineering, business management and administration, allied health care, information technology, media, and tourism and hospitality management.
The flagship international exchange program sponsored by the United States Government, the Fulbright Program is designed to increase mutual understanding between the American people and people of other countries. It provides participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential — with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. The Turkish Fulbright Commission was established by a binational agreement signed between the U.S. and Turkey in 1949. It aims to support Turkish and American graduate students, academicians and secondary school teachers through grants which include travel and living expenses and offers educational advising for Turkish students wishing to study in the U.S.
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship
The Humphrey Program provides ten months of non-degree academic study and related professional experiences in the U.S. Humphrey Fellows are selected based on their potential for leadership and their commitment to public service in either the public or the private sector. The program fosters a mutual exchange of knowledge and understanding about issues of common concern in the U.S. and the fellows’ home countries.
International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)
IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. Launched in 1940, the IVLP is a professional exchange program that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. International Visitors (IVs) are current or emerging leaders in government, politics, the media, education, the arts, business and other key fields. Over 4,000 IVs come to the U.S. from all over the world each year.
This is a U.S. Department of State/EducationUSA program run by advisers at the Fulbright Commission. Students with the potential to get substantial scholarship funding form US schools but need financial assistance in taking the next step towards a US education are eligible.Items for funding include: Test preparation/testing fees/travel to a test site, application and postage fees, translation fees, visa fees/travel costs, international airfare, a settling-in allowance, and books and insurance fees.
Sports United Program
SportsUnited is an international sports programming initiative designed to help start a dialogue at the grassroots level with non-elite young people. The programs aid youth in discovering how success in athletics can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom. Foreign participants are given an opportunity to establish links with U.S. sports professionals and exposure to American life and culture. Americans learn about foreign cultures and the challenges young people from other countries face today.
State Alumni Initiative
The State Alumni is a dynamic and interactive networking tool for all past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. You can find fellow alumni in all regions of the world to share your ideas/experiences; focus on your professional development by searching for job and grant opportunities; and learn more about alumni activities being implemented in communities the world over.
Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) Student Leader Program
SUSI Student Leader Programs are five-to-six-week academic programs for foreign undergraduate leaders. Hosted by U.S. academic institutions throughout the U.S., the Student Leader Institutes include an intensive academic component, an educational tour of other regions of the country, local community service activities and a unique opportunity for participants to get to know their American peers.
Summer Work and Travel (SWT) Program
The U.S. Department of State (DoS) administers the Exchange Visitor Program under the provisions of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended. The SWT program provides foreign students with an opportunity to live and work in the U.S. during their summer vacation from college or university to experience and to be exposed to the people and way of life in the U.S.
Turkish Student Teacher Internship Project (TSTIP)
TSTIP was established to help foster mutual understanding, respect and appreciation for the contributions, values and perspectives of cultures worldwide. Iowa State University's teacher preparation program reflects a strong commitment to student-centered learning and the use of technology in the classroom. Centered in the American heartland, the experience at Iowa State University provides Turkish interns with distinctive insights into American culture. Visiting students experience technology-rich educational programs and daily life in rural farming communities as well as in metropolitan cities like Chicago and Washington DC. Also, this project provides opportunities for Turkish interns to show American teachers and students international perspectives on teaching and learning.
Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES)
Since 2003, over 2000 young people from countries such as Lebanon, Afghanistan, Turkey, Nigeria, and Indonesia have come to the US to live as a “son” or “daughter” in an American family and attend high school for an academic year or semester. YES students share their host families’ everyday lives, engage in school activities and volunteer in their communities. They learn about American society and values while helping to educate others about the customs and culture of their homelands. See also Yes Programs Turkey managed by AFS - Intercultural Programs.
The Department of State is currently recruiting for several study abroad scholarship programs for U.S. citizen high school students. Please see the announcement about these opportunities with local high schools and other organizations that work with U.S. youth.
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs administers a variety of exchange programs for non-U.S. secondary, undergraduate, graduate students and professionals.
Your global community: A dynamic and interactive networking experience for all past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs.
Join the online community for cross-cultural conversation & stories about U.S. Department of State exchange programs.