Skip to Content
Thu, 11/15/2012

High School Students: Now Accepting Applications for the 2013 Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program

News | Cultural Visitors

Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program: July 12 - August 5, 2013

In partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs and World Learning, the World Affairs Council of Oregon is recruiting Oregon participants for the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program (IYLEP).  IYLEP is a three week youth leadership exchange based in the U.S. for Iraqi and American teenagers ages 15-17. The program aims to develop a network of young adults in Iraq and the United States who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, an awareness of current and global issues, strong interpersonal leadership skills, and a willingness to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between the United States and Iraq. 

Students will begin their program in Vermont at the SIT Graduate Institute, spend two weeks with host families in partner communities across the U.S., and conclude their program with a civic education week in Washington, DC. Participants will focus on the program themes through site meetings, experiential learning activities, leadership trainings, civic participation at the community level, mentoring by community, business and NGO leaders, and volunteering with local organizations, cultural events and outdoor leadership activities.  The program is free for all participants and covers travel, lodging, meals, cultural activities, and program expenses.

For more background on the program visit the IYLEP website at:

When is it?

July 12 - August 5, 2013.

What is covered?

There is no application fee or other cost to participants for IYLEP.

The U.S. State Department will pay for air travel, orientations, program fees, site visits and seminars, lodging and meals, some cultural activities, educational materials, accident and sickness insurance, and a modest amount of pocket money. Participants are responsible for transportation to Portland International Airport and spending money for souvenirs.

Who is eligible to apply?

Student applicants must:

  • Be at least 15 years old and not more than 17 years old at the time of the exchange;

  • Have a high school graduation year of 2014 or later; current seniors are not eligible;

  • Have permission from either a parent or legal guardian to participate in the four-week program; and
  • have not participated on an ECA-funded program within the last three years.

Ineligible this year?  The World Affairs Council is also recruiting host families for the Portland segment of the program July 20 - 31.  Interested families with high-school students should contact Andrew Neal at (503) 306-5216 for more information.

What is the selection process?

Students will be evaluated on the following characteristics: a demonstrated interest in and commitment to volunteer and civic activities; ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and tolerate the opinions of others; leadership potential; good social and communication skills; good academic performance; an energetic, positive attitude; and ability to implement projects that benefit the applicant’s school and/or community.

Individuals that make it past the initial application review by our panel will be contacted for an interview in January 2013.

How do I apply?

Eligible students can apply online at:

Applicants are required to provide a passport-sized photo, two letters of recommendation from teachers or an adult who is not related, and a signed parent/guardian permission form.  The application deadline is January 6, 2013 at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.


For more information on participating or hosting please contact Andrew Neal at (503) 306-5216 or andrewatworldoregon [dot] org.

Hosted by Spiretech