FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange)

Nataliya Kostyan

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Every year a lot of exchange students from different countries get a chance to come to the United States with the help of various programs. One of such programs, with the help of which I got an opportunity to become an exchange student for 2017-2018 academic year, is called FLEX. So what does FLEX mean and how does it work?

FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange) program provides scholarships for students from many different countries to come to America. This program has started to work since 1992 and is sponsored by the United States Department of State. It works for countries that during earlier times were part of the Soviet Union. These countries include: Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Romania, Poland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Serbia and Ukraine.

The program is the competition between high school students from these countries who need to prove that they are ready to come to another country for one year and be good representatives of their home places. The need to provide their knowledge of English and ability to cooperate with people and work in a team as well as find solutions for different problems and situations. After this, all participants have to wait a long time for the results and after a while, they become aware of whether they become finalists or not.

The main purpose of this program is to strengthen the mutual understanding and relationships between the United States and other countries as well as help American people learn more about different cultures and customs. If you have ever thought about hosting an exchange student, there are a lot of great students that come to America every year with the help of this program and contribute to its development, so it would definitely be an unforgettable experience.

In my opinion, this program is being very successful as it helps both people in the USA and other places become acquainted with each other’s believes, views and traditions as well as built international relationships.

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