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Bright young leaders from Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam are invited to apply for the YSEALI (Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative) Civic Engagement Program for 2019, hosted by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana.
The focus for the 2019 program is Civic Engagement and 38 Southeast Asians and a minimum of 13 Americans will travel between April 2019 and June 2020. Southeast Asian participants will engage in a 38-day program in the U.S. in 1 of 2 cohorts: 1) 18-20 Southeast Asian Fellows will travel to the U.S. in late April to early June 2019, and 2) 18-20 Southeast Asian Fellows will travel in a second group from mid-October 2019 to mid-November 2019.
Fellows will take part in practical lessons, culminating with each Southeast Asian fellow developing an Action Plan with follow-on projects supported by the U.S. Fellowship partner, the Mansfield Center, and the Professional Fellows alumni network. Some Southeast Asian Fellows will be placed together in U.S. fellowship organizations. This allows for more processing and discussion with the Fellows, resulting in enhanced coordination between the Fellows after the program. Each cohort of Southeast Asian Fellows will spend 1 month in the state of Montana, Colorado, Idaho, or Washington, followed by a 1-week program in Washington, D.C. to pursue individual professional appointments, cultural activities, and to attend the Professional Exchange Congress of the U.S. Department of State.
The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program is a professional development exchange program for the best community leaders from Southeast Asia, working in the fields of civic engagement, NGO management, economic empowerment, governance, legislative process, environmental and natural resources management. The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program provides participants a month-long fellowship at U.S.-based non-profit or other organizations, government offices or legislative bodies. Fellows will work with community leaders to enhance their practical expertise, leadership skills and professional contacts to address issues in their home communities.
All travel, lodging, and meals for the Southeast Asian Fellows while in the U.S. will be covered. The Fellows will stay in hotels during much of the program. However, as an important component of the program is a cultural introduction to the U.S., 2-week home stays will be arranged for the Southeast Asian Fellows. There is no stipend or honorarium provided to Southeast Asian participants for their time.
There is no funding available for Southeast Asian Fellows when hosting U.S. participants in Southeast Asia.
All international and domestic travel, lodging, cultural activities, and meals for U.S. participants are covered while traveling in Southeast Asia. This includes visa expenses but does not include passport cost. There is no funding available for expenses incurred by U.S. partners while hosting Southeast Asian Fellows in the U.S.
Applicants should be bright young professionals aged 25 to 35 from Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam, with strong leadership qualities and potential. They should be emerging professionals with the background to benefit from this learning experience. innovative ideas for tackling the greatest challenges in the ASEAN region, in the area of civic engagement.
Organizers will ascertain the suitability of the applicant’s organization to benefit from this exchange and to host a U.S. participant. Applicants should also have the potential commitment to hosting a U.S. participant for 14 days. This includes organizing a professional program, a cultural orientation, and in some countries working with the local partner and the Mansfield Center to organize logistics such as lodging and transportation. (All activities will be paid for by the program, not by the Southeast Asian fellow or his/her organization.)
Applicants must receive the support of their supervisors and organizations for this fellowship and applicants must be committed to investing time in this fellowship to make it a success. They should be interested in working in cross-cultural settings and understand program objectives, as well as are able to communicate their personal goals in line with program objectives. They have to be committed to strengthening their communities and have had little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States. They have to be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive program, Fellowship placement, community service, and travel program in the U.S. for approximately 38 days. Applicants should be individuals who are able to make adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those in their countries. This is not a tourism or a luxury program, but a busy professional program.
Participants chosen from each country will reflect the diversity of that country in terms of its populace, geography, and variety of economic interests/fields/organizations.
Applications are to be done online or via email by 16 November 2018.