Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program 2023 Thailand

Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program 2023 Thailand

Information for applicants

Registration deadline: Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Secondary school students from Thailand are invited to apply to participate in the Southeast Asian Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP), which will run from April 7 to 28, 2023. The program will host 60 participants from ten Southeast Asian member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Five students will be selected to represent Thailand.

The program will include workshops and interactive sessions, including site visits to community organizations. Through engagement with American high schools, community organizations, youth groups, and community leaders, student participants and adult mentors will explore the challenges facing the United States and ASEAN in the 21st century.

This is an intensive program in three segments:
(1) A pre-departure orientation in Bangkok;
(2) a three-week US-based exchange program that will offer students and their adult mentor the opportunity to explore the principles of leadership and community activism in the United States*; and
(3) follow-up activities related to participants carrying out projects in their home communities.

The program will be intensive, academic and highly interactive. The program sponsors are looking for energetic candidates who are ready to develop their skills in order to be effective leaders in their schools and communities.

The program emphasizes leadership and youth development. It will also allow participants to explore common challenges facing the United States and ASEAN member countries. These challenges are explored through the three pillars of the ASEAN community: political and security cooperation, economic skills building (through the development of exchange projects) and socio-cultural leadership (through hands-on activities, workshops, seminars and site visits to promote greater communication). Participants will develop projects to meet the needs of their communities upon their return home. Preference will be given to participants who have not traveled to the United States.

*Note: All selected applicants must be fully immunized for the in-person program in the United States.

* * * * * * *

This program is designed to promote high quality leadership, civic responsibility and civic activism among the future leaders of our countries. It will provide a practical examination of the principles of democracy and civil society as practiced in the United States and provide participants with training to develop their leadership skills.

SEAYLP 2023 will emphasize ASEAN identity by organizing into multi-country teams to enhance cross-cultural experience wherever possible across country cohorts. Exchange activities in the United States will include workshops, interactive sessions, diplomacy simulations, leadership training and team-building exercises. Extracurricular activities complement the program with volunteer service opportunities as well as site visits with relevant organizations in host communities. All participants will have homestays with American families and study trips to Chicago, IL and Washington, DC

An important part of the program is the development and implementation of projects by students upon their return home. These projects will fill a need in their schools or communities. Examples include supporting student government or other means of involving students in the decision-making process in schools, producing visual materials that share information about social issues, developing programs or peer support or peer mediation workshops, cooperation with local NGOs trying to develop a spirit of volunteerism or supporting activities that help to increase media coverage of youth issues. All participants will be expected to complete these follow-up projects.

What else should I know?

Expenses covered: If selected for the program, the United States government, in conjunction with Northern Illinois University (NIU), will pay for domestic transportation, international transportation to and from the United States, alumni activities, accommodation, stipends, in-country program related expenses (including domestic travel for visa interviews and/or pre-departure orientation), in-country accommodation and expenses, and coverage against accidents and illness.

Personal expenses: Participants are responsible for expenses related to the application process (copying, mailing, photographs, etc.), passport fees and spending money for souvenirs, phone calls and other personal effects in the United States.

Visas: Participants will travel to the United States on J-1 exchange visitor visas provided under this program. By accepting this visa, participants will be subject to a two-year residency requirement, which means they must return and live in their home country for a total of two years before being eligible for a US visa. immigrant or temporary worker. However, this does not limit other types of visas, so it would not prevent you from being able to apply for a student visa to attend university, for example.

Who is eligible to apply?

Student applicants must

  • Be a Thai citizen currently residing and studying in Thailand (applicants with dual US citizenship will not be considered);
  • Be born between April 1, 2006 and April 1, 2008
  • Be a high school student and have a high school graduation year of 2023 or later;
  • Have a command of English;
  • Have not traveled to the United States
  • Have permission from parents/guardians and schools to participate in the entire program.

What are the selection criteria ?

Students will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Have strong academic and social skills, leadership potential, interest or commitment to civic action and community service;
  • Demonstrate initiative, good communication and an energetic and positive attitude;
  • Possess the ability to work in a team and tolerate the opinions of others;

How to apply?

Fill out a application form in the same way two letters of recommendation (one from an English teacher and the other from a subject teacher and/or school official), and your most recent transcript, by completing the application form at https://forms.gle/9jew3CkecWzNVBE37

Your complete package must be received before midnight on Wednesday, November 30, 2022. Submitting through the Google form will automatically record the date and time the application was submitted. The U.S. Embassy will use this information to determine if an application was submitted on time. Late requests are neither considered nor taken into account. We do not accept applications submitted by hand.

Based on the above criteria, as demonstrated in the application, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted by the Media and Culture Section for interviews. Interviews will take place on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at the Media and Culture Section, U.S. Embassy, ​​Bangkok. Shortlisted candidates must be able to travel to the interview location. We will notify applicants of the interview details prior to the interview date. The list of finalists and alternates will be announced in March 2023.

Questions should be sent to: [email protected] with subject line “SEAYLP 2023_Questions”

And after that…?

Selected participants will receive orientation materials in the weeks prior to the start of the program to help them prepare for the program and their trip to the United States.

Pre-departure orientation and training sessions with students and the adult mentor will take place in the month prior to departure. Participants and their families will have the opportunity to discuss the project with the Media and Culture Section at this time.

After returning home and over the following months, participants will be responsible for carrying out their follow-up projects.

Thank you for your interest in the program and good luck with your applications!

Kevin E. Boling