Welcome to the Fall 2018 Application to the Professional Fellows Program for Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam! The Mansfield Center of the University of Montana and the U.S. Department of State appreciate your interest in this program.

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is a professional development exchange program for the best and brightest community leaders from ASEAN, working in the fields of civic engagement, economic empowerment, environmental sustainability, and governance and society. The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program provides participants a month-long fellowship at U.S.-based non-profit organizations, government offices, legislative bodies, or private sector organizations. Fellows will work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities. 

YSEALI programs strengthen leadership development and networking in ASEAN, deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and young Southeast Asian leaders. The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is part of the broader Professional Fellows exchange program.

Learn more about the Professional Fellows Program and YSEALI.

In order to apply, select your country from the list of applications below.  All applications must be completed and submitted by midnight, March 30, 2018 in your home country's timezone.

The competition for the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is merit-based and open to young professionals and emerging leaders, ages 25-35, who meet the following criteria:
  • Is a citizen, national or permanent resident of their home country
  • Is living and working in his/her home country at the time of the application
  • Has at least two (2) years of professional experience at the time of application
  • Submits a complete application, with all required documents, by the application deadline (30 March 2017)
  • Is able to begin the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program in the United States in 2018
  • Is able to receive a U.S. J-1 visa
  • Is committed to returning to his/her country after completion of the program
  • Is proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application
Individuals in the following circumstances are NOT eligible for the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program:
  • U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents of the United States
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents of the United States
  • Individuals participating in academic, training, or research programs in the United States at the time of application
  • Individuals who have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Government (e.g., U.S. Department of State, Public Affairs Sections of U.S. Embassies or other U.S. Government agencies) who have not fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement by the time of application
  • Individuals who have applied for U.S. permanent residency in the past three years
  • Employees and their families of non-profit organizations who administer the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program on behalf of the U.S. Department of State. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting members of families who live apart from their parents
  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Agency for International Development are ineligible for grants during the period of their employment and for one year following the termination of employment
  • Immediate families (i.e. spouses and dependent children) of U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development employees for a  period of one year following the termination of such employment. This provision does not disqualify self-supporting members of families who live apart from their parents
  • Other criteria to be determined in consultation with ECA

Twenty Montana participants -- approximately 10-12 professionals and 8-10 students -- will be selected to travel to El Salvador from July 15-23, 2018, to participate in a basketball exchange with Salvadoran youth and adults. All expenses are paid for by the U.S. Department of State via a grant to the Mansfield Center.  This eight-day exchange will use basketball as a medium to engage at-risk youth and adult sports mentors.  The focus of activities will be on leadership and teamwork in order to build resilience and life skills. This exchange is part of a larger effort to encourage at-risk youth to stay in school and build pathways to economic security.

Montana participants will then host 22 youth and adult participants from Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) in April 2019. Montana participants will be expected to lead particular sessions and activities focused on basketball and youth development during this 13-day exchange.
 

Student Selection Criteria:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Montana resident
  • Age: at least 15 years old by the beginning of the exchange (July 15, 2018)
  • Active student status (enrolled in high school, home school, or higher education institution for the 2018-2019 school year)
  • Demonstrated interest and skills in basketball
  • Demonstrated interest in international affairs
  • Demonstrated leadership and teamwork skills
  • Demonstrated maturity, flexibility, integrity, social skills, and open-mindedness
  • Motivation to be a successful cultural exchange participant

Applications are due April 15, 2018.

Twenty Montana participants -- approximately 10-12 professionals and 8-10 students -- will be selected to travel to El Salvador from July 15-23, 2018, to participate in a basketball exchange with Salvadoran youth and adults. All expenses are paid for by the U.S. Department of State via a grant to the Mansfield Center.  This eight-day exchange will use basketball as a medium to engage at-risk youth and adult sports mentors.  The focus of activities will be on leadership and teamwork in order to build resilience and life skills. This exchange is part of a larger effort to encourage at-risk youth to stay in school and build pathways to economic security.  

Montana participants will then host 22 youth and adult participants from Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) in April 2019. Montana participants will be expected to lead particular sessions and activities focused on basketball and youth development during this 13-day exchange.

Professionals Participant Selection Criteria:

  • U.S. citizen
  • Montana resident
  • Proficiency in basketball is not essential. We are seeking those with a willingness to participate in an exchange using basketball as a medium with the following background. Therefore, criteria includes one of the following key elements:  experience playing basketball as a hobby OR using sport to work with youth OR experience in coaching or participating in basketball and other sports
  • Have significant engagement in youth: though coaching, teaching, mentoring, counseling, etc.
  • Interest in assisting youth to become productive and responsible members of society
  • Ability to enthusiastically support teenage participants and adult peers
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and open-mindedness
  • Interest in international affairs and cultural exchange
  • Strong leadership, teamwork, and communication skills
  • Plans to remain in position of influence on young leaders (professional or volunteer)

Desired Professionals Participant Traits:

  • Background in coaching or sports training, specifically in basketball. Please note that not all adult participants will have basketball experience, but should be able and willing to learn to engage in basketball drills and activity.
  • Demonstrated international engagement experience (actual travel, supporting international visitors to the US, language study, etc)
  • Experience working with at-risk youth
  • Knowledge of youth development
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Spanish language skills or study

Applications are due April 15, 2018.