The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) Program is a US government-sponsored program for secondary school students from 10 of the republics of the former Soviet Union (Eurasia), including Georgia. The program provides scholarship funding for students to travel to the United States, attend a US high school for a full academic year, and live with a US host family.

FLEX was established in 1992 under the FREEDOM Support Act. Funding is provided by the US Department of State. The program was created from the conviction of former Senator Bill Bradley that the best way to ensure long lasting peace and understanding between the United States and the countries of Eurasia is to enable young people from these countries to learn about the U.S. and Americans firsthand.

The primary goal of FLEX is improving mutual understanding between our countries and allowing young citizens of Eurasia to have the opportunity to observe and experience our system of government. Each year about 1,100 students from Eurasia and approximately 50 students from Georgia participate in FLEX program.

Now in its twenty-first, Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) provides an opportunity for Georgian secondary school students in the 9th, 10th, and 11th grades to spend a year in America for free. FLEX students live with host families, attend school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. The program places special emphasis on leadership skills and seeks ways for participants to develop these skills during the school year. Upon their return home, students will apply their leadership skills at home and become involved in a well-established FLEX alumni network.

Recipients of FLEX scholarships are selected by an independent panel of experienced educators. Merit is determined by evaluating the written application, recommendations, English language proficiency, and an applicant’s demonstrated preparedness for a yearlong exchange experience.
The FLEX program is fully funded by the U.S. Department of State program and is administered by American Councils for International Education in Georgia. Georgian – American High School has been involved in the FLEX program for a long time, and has winners: Lasha Nairashvili, Nino Gorgodze, Irakli Baiadze, Tamar Butskhrikidze, Nia Khachapuridze and Givi Makharadze.

Reed More: www.americancouncils.ge

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