Discover FLEX, Discover the World
"This is not a year in your life - this is life in a year." - Kateryna K., '13
Begun in 1993, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program is a competitive, merit-based scholarship program funded by the U.S. Department of State. FLEX students who pass multiple rounds of testing earn a scholarship to spend an academic year in the United States living with a volunteer host family and attending a U.S. high school. FLEX students gain leadership skills, learn about American society and values, and teach Americans about FLEX countries and cultures. FLEX is a highly competitive program with over 24,000 alumni who have contributed over one million hours of community service in cities and towns across America. The students return home to active alumni networks that carry out inspiring activities.
Since 1993, host families have been the heart and soul of the FLEX program, providing a supportive home and family to their FLEX student during the academic year. Hosting a FLEX student offers your family and community the unique opportunity to discover new parts of the world firsthand, in a way that goes beyond reading about or even visiting them as a tourist. The friendships and bonds that are formed during the program year often last well beyond the exchange. FLEX students compete in three rigorous rounds of testing to be selected for this Department of State-funded scholarship program. FLEX students are distinguished by their maturity, determination and eagerness to share in a true exchange of cultures. Host families and their students are supported by local coordinators associated with a national placement organization throughout the year. Click on the links below to read what families have to say about their hosting experiences and to submit a hosting inquiry today!
Are you a FLEX student, host family, natural family or alumnus/a? Has FLEX had a positive impact on your life or community? We want to hear about it!
Since 1993, nearly 300 students with a disability have taken part in FLEX, and describe it as a powerful path to independence and increased self-confidence.
The 2015-16 generation of FLEX students have returned home! Click the link below to see FLEX families and friends welcoming the newest FLEX alumni back home.
Nino Zurabishvili is a 1996 FLEX Alumna from the Republic of Georgia who now works as the Deputy Chief of Gori City Council. Her daughter recently returned home from her FLEX year in Texas. Read about this generational FLEX experience by clicking the link below!
The FLEX program celebrated its 20th anniversary in the fall of 2013 with workshops and events in Almaty, Kazakhstan; Kyiv, Ukraine; Moscow, Russia; and Tbilisi, Georgia. The sites were linked by video bridge to Moscow, where the program's founder, Senator Bill Bradley, addressed the over 300 guests. Click to watch the commemorative video featuring students and alumni reflecting on what FLEX means to them.