Future Leaders Exchange Program

The Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Established as part of the FREEDOM Support Act in 1992, the academic year -long program was formed by former Senator Bill Bradley’s hopeful vision for future U.S. relations with the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Senator Bradley believed that these relations could be improved through mutual understanding fostered by personal relationships between citizens of the U.S. and citizens of the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia.

For almost 30 years, FLEX students have been positively impacted by, and have left a positive impact on, their U.S. host communities. These students have applied their cross-cultural and community-building skills that they gained on program to make lasting contributions in their home communities upon their return.  Each year AFS-USA hosts 50 FLEX students from the 21 FLEX partner countries. More information can be found on the

AFS-USA works in close partnership with American Councils for International Education, an organization which administers recruitment, selection, pre-departure orientation, and alumni programming for the FLEX program in overseas partner countries. AFS-USA also works with organizations such as Mobility International  in its administration of the FLEX program.

Where do FLEX students come from?

Click to download info sheet.

What is the selection process for FLEX students?

The application process for the FLEX program is very rigorous and competitive. Students are selected based on their academic achievements, involvement in extracurricular and community activities, interviews and teacher recommendations. Students are then selected by a committee in the U.S. Recruitment and selection for FLEX students is facilitated by American Councils for International Education.

FLEX is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs