Fall 2021 YSEALI Academic Fellowships

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The Fall 2021 YSEALI Academic Fellowship Program is calling for applications!
What is YSEALI?

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is a U.S. Department of State program for emerging leaders from Southeast Asia. The program was launched by President Barack Obama in Manila in December 2013 to strengthen leadership development, networking, and cultural exchange among emerging leaders within the age range of 18 to 35 years old from the 10 member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Timor Leste.

YSEALI’s programs include competitive exchange fellowship programs to the United States, virtual and on-ground workshops within Southeast Asia, and seed grant funding opportunities. The programs fall under the key core themes of civic engagement, sustainable development, economic development, governance, and the environment.

What is the YSEALI Academic Fellows program?

The YSEALI Academic Fellowship is a short-term academic program that provides youth leaders aged 18-25 with a deeper understanding of the United States and enhances their leadership skills in civic engagement, environmental issues, social entrepreneurship, and economic development. The Fellowship will include a virtual academic residency from September to November 2021 and an in-person component at a U.S. university in Spring 2022, when travel conditions permit.

During the virtual academic residency, participants will engage remotely from their home countries in Institute activities, including academic sessions, site visits, leadership development exercises, and cultural activities.

If conditions allow, participants will travel to the United States in Spring 2022 to participate in educational and cultural activities inside and outside the classroom, lectures, and site visits to local communities.  The in-person component in the United States will be organized considering all necessary safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local, and campus authorities.

YSEALI Thematic Tracks
    • YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Civic Engagement
      The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Civic Engagement will provide Fellows with an overview of how citizens have shaped U.S. history, government, and society both as individuals and groups.  The Fellowship will define civic engagement, examine its development in the United States, and explore topics such as active citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, and volunteerism. The University of Nebraska – Omaha and Kennesaw State University will conduct and host the Fellowship.
    • YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Environmental Issues
      The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Environmental Issues will explore the role that environmental policy has played in the economic and political development of the United States.  The Fellowship will use experiential learning techniques to expose participants to current themes in the field, including climate change, sustainable development/sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, renewable energy generation, and water management and treatment. The University of Montana and the East-West Center will conduct and host the Fellowship.
    • YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
      The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will provide Fellows with an overview of entrepreneurial approaches employed to address social and economic issues.  The Fellowship will review the development, history, challenges, and successes of enterprises and community leaders, in the United States and globally. The University of Connecticut and the University of Texas-Austin will conduct and host the Fellowship.

YSEALI Academic Fellows are expected to be full-time undergraduate students from college, university, or other institutions of higher learning; or have graduated in the past four years, and who demonstrate leadership through academic work, community involvement, extracurricular activities, or their profession.

Priority will be given to applicants from non-elite backgrounds, from rural and urban areas, and with little or no prior experience in the United States or elsewhere outside the Philippines.  Applications are encouraged from underserved groups, including indigenous groups, ethnic minority communities, the LGBTQI+ community, and candidates with disabilities. Host universities will provide special accommodations for YSEALI Academic Fellows with disabilities as needed.

Applicants must be: 

  • A YSEALI member.
  • Between the ages of 18 and 25 at the time of application
  • A citizen and resident of the Philippines
  • A full-time undergraduate college student or have graduated in the past four years
  • Proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English

Ideal candidates should:

  • Demonstrate interest, knowledge, or professional experience in any of the three Fellowship themes above
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university, place of work, or community
  • Demonstrate a commitment or interest in community service, volunteerism, or mentorship
  • Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States and Southeast Asia as a region
  • Be willing to actively participate in an intensive virtual academic program, community service, and study tour
How to Apply
  1. Register as a YSEALI member. Register for free at http://yseali.state.gov
  2. Fill out the application form for your country: https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/yseali-country-specific-information/
Important Dates

September – November 2021
Virtual Component of the Fall 2021 YSEALI Academic Fellowship

Spring 2022
In-Person Component of the Fall 2021 YSEALI Academic Fellowship
(Contingent upon health, safety, and travel conditions)

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