FLEX in Ukraine in 2018.

FLEX in Ukraine in 2018.
Perhaps there is no one who does not want to travel the world. Usually this dream becomes a reality, when we get education, go to work and finally start earning money in order to indulge ourselves on vacation with a voucher to warm seas, to ski resorts or to the most beautiful cities in the world.
Schoolchildren and students most often travel abroad only if moms and dads can provide them with cognitive vacations. Naturally, these children always enjoy success with their peers, who are ready to listen for hours to stories about incredible countries and adventures. Nevertheless, in recent years, the younger generation has great chances to not just go abroad for rest, but also spend a very considerable time there, studying at local schools and living in a “foster” family.
One such program is FLEX, whose goal is to exchange future leaders between the countries of Eurasia and the United States. This initiative is an excellent chance to improve the English language, get an education in the American school throughout the year, the opportunity to better understand another’s culture, customs and traditions. Let’s discuss this initiative in more detail so that you can prepare in advance for the next qualifying stage in Ukraine.
Information about the program FLEX.
The program is aimed at students from ten CIS countries. The financing of this event is funded by the US budget. It is carried out with the support of the Bureau for Cultural and Educational Affairs of the US State Department, the Ukrainian unit of the American Council for International Education and the Ministry of Education of Ukraine. The initiative gives Ukrainian students the opportunity to study in US schools. However, they can stay in the States for up to one year and completely immerse themselves in the cultural peculiarities of the country, because residence is planned in local families.
The program was founded in 1992 thanks to the initiative of US Senator Bill Bradley, who put forward the idea of strengthening mutual understanding between the United States and the countries of Eurasia through cultural and educational exchange. This message is understandable, because it is the younger generation that has the flexibility of the mind that helps to integrate into other cultures and understand them. Since the inception of the program and up to the current time, more than 22,000 pupils from different Eurasian states took part in it.
The basic requirements for participating in the FLEX program are as follows:
the applicant must be proficient in English; the date of birth of the student must be in the interval declared by the organizers; the student must be enrolled in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade; the applicant must have Ukrainian citizenship; it is desirable to immediately evaluate its ability to obtain a J-1 visa; Only those who have not been in the US for more than 3 months over the past 5 years can go on the program; the student’s family or at least one of its members should not be emigrants to the US or have an intention to apply for emigration in the near future. Are you late for the 2017-2018 program? Submit your documents for the new season!
For today in Ukraine the program of the period 2017-2018 is realized. The beginning of it was laid in the fall of 2016, when the organizers announced a set of students wishing to take part in the “Program for the exchange of future leaders”. News about when will be the next stage of the program, has not yet been received, but it is worth familiarizing with the features of the selection of the current year already now, so as not to miss your chance in the future.
Features of selection.
To participate in the program, students undergo a selection procedure, which is carried out in several rounds.
First tour.
It consists in the passage of testing, which took place in more than three dozen centers in all major cities of the country. Participation in the first qualifying stage could be taken by students studying in grades 8-10. Another condition is the date of birth of the pupil or student. So, the program 2016-2018 years is valid for those who were born from 1.01.2000 to 15.07.2002.
Children with disabilities participate in the competition separately – a group of contestants has been formed for them, including those born in the period from 15.02.1999 to 15.07.2002. The first contest stage includes a small test for the knowledge of the English language, the results of which are announced on the same day. When passing through the selection, you should have:
the original of the birth certificate; A paper confirming your consent and the consent of one of the parents that the organization can process your personal data; a photograph measuring 3×4 cm, made no earlier than 3-4 months before testing; The handle is blue or black. To participate in the program you must own English. language at the proper level.
The second round.
The test, which consists in writing a small essay on a given topic. Assessment of the results of the students in this case takes place with the participation of the commission from Washington.
The third round.
It is announced 3-6 weeks after the second qualifying stage and is conducted with the participation of specialists from the American Councils. They meet with the winners of the second round and their parents. Students are given special questionnaires, which should then be sent to the legal address of the American Councils in Kiev. In addition, within the framework of this qualifying stage, students should write a mini-essay in English, orally talk with the commission and pass a test consisting of written assignments and listening.
Final stage and preparation for departure.
During this period, the final selection of participants. All questionnaires and tests written and completed by participants in the third stage are sent to Washington, where they are subject to evaluation by independent experts. After the winners are determined, the Washington office of the American Council sends its conclusion to the Ukrainian branch.
Thus, the lists of Ukrainian schoolchildren for the current contest were announced in April 2017. Further, the lucky people selected for participation in the exchange initiative need to prepare the documentary package necessary for obtaining the American visa, including medical referrals and recommendation letters from their schools. Throughout June-July they are in Kiev to undergo a pre-departure orientation program. In August, the lucky ones go to the US to return home only in May-June 2018.
Who pays for the expenses?
Financing, which is provided to selected contestants, covers such expenses:
Tickets from the native city of Ukraine to the place of residence in the United States and a return transfer to Ukraine; Pre-departure training; a one-year residence in an American family; studying at an American school; medical insurance in the US, excluding the treatment of existing diseases and dental care; a monthly scholarship equal to $ 125 a month; one-time financial assistance in the amount of $ 300, so that the student can live on site and buy everything necessary for the school.
At the same time, you need to remember that some expenses will have to be paid independently. These include:
expenses for obtaining a passport and notarial permission from the parents to travel to the United States; additional spending on entertainment or shopping; costs associated with the transport of additional baggage, the weight of which exceeds the norm of the airline; telephone and internet expenses.
Features of families in which students live.
American families who participate in the program are also subjected to strict selection. At the same time, they do not get any benefit from taking Ukrainian children to their homes. Nevertheless, among Americans there are many regular participants of FLEX. They consider this an excellent cognitive experience, willingly share with the Ukrainians American cultural characteristics, and also take the chance to give their children an idea of how it is to live in a large multicultural family.
In turn, Ukrainian children should be prepared for the fact that they will not live as guests. We will have to take on some of the family responsibilities for cleaning, cooking, shopping in the store or looking after young children, obeying the order of the host. As practice shows, most of the families that participate in the program live in Michigan, Texas, California, Wisconsin and Washington. Most often pupils live with Americans who have their own house in a suburban area.
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