US-MEPI Student Leaders Program 2018 for Undergraduate Students from the Middle East and North Africa (Fully Funded to USA)

Application Deadline: December 14, 2017.

The U.S. Department of State’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program seeks nominations for potential participants in the MEPI Student Leaders Program scheduled to take place in summer 2018. The program will last from June 25 – August 4, 2018.

The Student Leaders program is an intensive 5-week training program in four U.S.-based universities for about 60 undergraduate and graduate students (age 20-24) from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Students learn about leadership, civil society, and government processes and how they may apply these skills in their home countries. The program also offers outstanding undergraduate and graduate students from across the MENA region an intensive leadership training course. Students attend U.S. academic institutions where they develop leadership skills and expand their understanding of civil society and participatory governance and how both may be applied in their home communities.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Students from the following countries are eligible to apply: Algeria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and West Bank and Gaza.
  • This program is open to university students between the ages of 20 and 24.
  • MEPI seek a gender-balanced pool of candidates and give preference to traditionally under-served participants. While nominees may be undergraduate or graduate students in any field of academic specialization, it is critical that they exhibit a serious interest in pursuing leadership opportunities in their home countries and demonstrate a desire to deepen their civic engagement.
  • Those who have previously traveled to the U.S. or studied abroad are ineligible. Applicants should demonstrate sufficient English-language skills to participate in U.S. university-level classes and must be enrolled in and attending a university in their home countries. At the time of application and while participating in the program, participants cannot hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.


  • Participants have the opportunity to meet their American peers, engage in local community service activities, and observe and take part in the governmental process on the local, state, and federal levels. The program includes academic coursework, as well as study tours to various regions of the United States.
  • Expenses for the U.S. program are fully paid by the U.S. Department of State.
  • Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) will serve as the prime implementer in consortium with Montana State University, the University of Delaware, and Portland State University.
  • Each host university will design its own course materials, schedule, and program activities. All academic programs will address common themes including: a comparative analysis of leadership styles; consensus-building, conflict resolution, individual and collective problem-solving, and group dynamics; the role of civil society; public speaking; and job-seeking skills. The program will include coursework/trainings as well as field visits to complement and reinforce the concepts explored in the trainings.
  • Students will live amongst their peers and interact with Americans in local communities.
  • It is anticipated that participants will arrive and depart through Washington, D.C. in order to participate in the welcome and farewell ceremonies and informational briefings and debriefings at the Department of State. Due to the rigorous academic and program schedule, travel to visit family or friends elsewhere in the United States will not be permitted before, during (including on weekends during the academic residency period), or after the program. Students must immediately return home upon conclusion of the program. All participants are expected to travel unaccompanied.


  • The recruitment process for the 2018 program is now open.
  • The program will take place June 25 – August 4, 2018.
  • Applications should be submitted through the online platform
  • For all countries except Morocco and the West Bank and Gaza, applications for 2018 will be accepted from October 23, 2017 through December 14, 2017.
  • For Morocco and the West Bank and Gaza, applications are due December 1, 2017


All applicants must complete the online application which includes the following information:

  1. Candidate’s complete contact information, including mailing address, email, and phone number;
  2. Candidate’s updated resume highlighting civic engagement, leadership and/or work experience, extracurricular activities, and academic honors;
  3. A copy of the photo page of candidate’s passport;
  4. Name of candidate’s college/university;
  5. Candidate’s field of study;
  6. Evidence of high academic achievement;
  7. Details of any previous travel or study outside of home country, including dates.
  8. Candidate’s response, in 500 words or less, to each of the following questions:
  • The Student Leaders program offers outstanding students leadership training to expand their understanding of and potential contribution to‎ civic and economic engagements. How are you a leader? True leaders constantly evolve. Provide us with 1-3 concrete examples of how you built and strengthened your advocacy capacity and skills in dealing with a challenge. Did you use your leadership skills to cope with a problem, enact change, or help and inspire others? What did you learn from this experience? How has your leadership style improved as a result? What was the impact of this change on you and the people around you?
  • Tell us about a public figure whose moral convictions you most aspire to emulate. Which key characteristics of that person do you see within yourself, and in which ways are you dissimilar? Discuss how these characteristics sometimes prove to be negative. Be creative: this person can be from any era. We strongly encourage that you select someone the selection committee would recognize by avoiding relatives or teachers.
  • Imagine that you win a $50,000 grant to engage in an activity within your reach. The project must be concrete and be done within one year and benefit your community (cannot include bringing peace to your country or solving world hunger). The endeavor you choose should promote self-growth as a leader and significantly impact your community. Please provide details of how you would spend your year, why are you motivated to do this, and what are the benefits that this endeavor would bring to yourself and to your community.

For questions on applying, please contact your U.S. Embassy/Consulate.

For More Information:
Visit the Official Webpage of the US-MEPI Student Leaders Program 2018 


  1. […] The US-MEPI Student Leaders Program offers outstanding undergraduates from across the MENA region an intensive leadership training course of approximately 5 weeks in the United States from June 26 – July 31, 2019. The program emphasizes lessons in participatory governance and the application of leadership skills. […]


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