Re-Advertisement – The United States-Kosovo Educational Exchange Board (USKEB) is Accepting Applications for Board Member Positions

The application for USKEB board member position representing Kosovo Civil Society is open and will be available until January 31st, 2021.

USKEB CSO Board Member

The applications form for board member position representing Civil Society can be accessed via clicking on the photo or here:


Term: The position is an unremunerated, two-year term.

Each board member has a vital role in determining the success of exchange programs that fall under the board’s advisory capacity. Members of the board will have the opportunity to work closely with fellow board members, the government of Kosovo, and U.S. Embassy representatives in suggesting beneficial strategies for educational exchange programming. Furthermore, USKEB members will have an active role in selecting upcoming grantees for the Fulbright Programs as well as in the promotion of exchange programs.

USKEB Members are expected:

– To oversee the general direction of United States-Kosovo educational exchange programming, including the U.S. bound: Fulbright Foreign Student Program (Master’s Degree), Fulbright Faculty Development Program(FFDP), Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program (FVSP), and the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program; and Kosovo-bound: Fulbright Specialist Program, Fulbright U.S. Student Program, and Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, and any future programming as may be deemed appropriate by the founder(s) of the Board.

– To assist in setting strategic priorities for United States-Kosovo educational exchange programming.

– To actively raise awareness on behalf of United States-Kosovo educational exchange programming. 

– To actively support educational initiatives and institutions that aim to foster understanding between the United States and Kosovo.

– To provide a forum for academicians from the United States in Kosovo and Kosovo academicians with interest in the United States to identify, discuss, and pursue matters of mutual interest. 

– To suggest and develop programs that will raise the profile of the Fulbright program in Kosovo.


To qualify as a Board Member representing Civil Society, a person must:

– Have demonstrated breadth and depth of management and leadership experience, in a senior leadership role in a recognized organization.

– Experience in higher education-related projects in Kosovo.

– Have a general understanding of how educational exchange programs function.

– Have professional or personal experience with programs of The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State (preferable).

– Not be affiliated with any political party.

– Have a growth mindset and excellent networking abilities.

The United States-Kosovo Educational Exchange Board (USKEB) is a non-legal Advisory Board, founded for the purpose of advancing relations between the people of the United States and Kosovo through educational exchange programming.

The United States-Kosovo Educational Exchange Board (USKEB) is supported by The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), The U.S. Embassy in Kosovo, and Kosovo’s Ministry of Education and Science, and is implemented by American Councils for International Education and Kosovo United States Alumni (KUSA).



By Behar Bunjaku, YES 2017-2018, Kosovo, hosted by CIEE in Palestine, TX

On March 27, 2019, YES alumni from Kosova organized the fourth edition of Kosovo Slam Poetry at the Institute of History in Prishtina, Kosovo. Nine young poets performed their spoken poetry in front of a live audience of more than 130 people.

“If I have got to be frank, at first I didn’t even know what Slam Poetry was,” one participant admitted. “From ‘slamming the door,’ I knew ‘slam’ meant moving against a surface with force and a loud noise…thus [I assumed] we would probably be loudly addressing our feelings for certain issues through our original poems.” This participant’s assumption was more correct than he knew! The main goal of  Kosovo Slam Poetry is to give a platform to young poets from Kosovo to express their thoughts in the form of spoken poetry in front of a live audience. As organizers, we believe that the first step towards solving a problem is being aware of the problem, hence the theme of our Kosovo Slam Poetry event was “Issues You See in Your Community.” Through Kosovo Slam Poetry we were able to raise awareness of many issues with a diverse group of people as part of the audience.

Kosova Kosovo Slam Poetry First Workshop

All nine poets participated in two pre-event workshops on March 20 and 26, where they had the opportunity to get to know each other and work with mentors Michaela Washington (a Peace Corps Volunteer, English teacher, and poet) and Verona Kardiu (last year’s Kosovo Slam Poetry winner) on further developing their poems and practicing their stage performances. As a previous participant of Kosovo Slam Poetry, Verona shared her experience and tips to help poets overcome their apprehension. A powerful highlight from the pre-event workshops was how keen the organizers and the participants were to know each other’s views on different matters. Even during meals we would discuss important historical movements and express our opinions on them.

On the day of the competition, jury members Arber Selmani (poet and journalist), Megan Fisk (Head of the English department at International Business College Mitrovica), and Adelina Tershani (Kosovo Slam Poetry second edition participant) selected 18-year-old Yllza Murtezi as the winner for her poem “Soul Sisters,” which tackles the problem of prejudgment. She started her poem: “So, we are prone to judge others / Based on their gender, skin color, nationality, economic status or even their skills / All we want is to judge.” She was inspired to write about this topic after being judged negatively by her peers for having a pen-pal friend from South Africa. She later explains in her poem the benefits she gained from knowing someone from another part of the world: “In the science class, I raise my hand / Since you have taught me that the first heart transplant happened in your country.”

During the competition, all the poems performed were translated into sign language for members of the hearing impaired community, who were invited to attend the event.

Having witnessed their passion and hard work, we congratulate and thank all the participants for the effort and emotion they put into distinguishing our project as a valuable contribution to the community.

This year’s Kosovo Slam Poetry competition was organized by: Visar Zeka (YES ’15); YES ’17: Anda Rama and Altin Kondirolli; and YES ’18: Behar Bunjaku, Nita Bashota, Shkurte Berisha, and Riola Morina.

The 2020 KAEF Graduate Fellowship Program is open

The 2020 application for the KAEF Graduate Fellowship Program is open and will be available until 11:59 PM (EST) on July 8, 2019. Apply now:

The Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF) is dedicated to the long-term economic development of Kosovo through the education of its people. KAEF provides graduate fellowships to promising Kosovars for top-level training at select U.S. universities.

To date, 43 universities have hosted 103 KAEF Fellows, including Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Temple University, University of Delaware, and St. John’s University. Aside from providing KAEF Fellows a top-notch education, our university partners also provide tuition cost-sharing.

Without exception, KAEF Fellows have performed at a high academic level.   In addition, KAEF Fellows receive an opportunity for valuable practical experience, including

Summer internships – KAEF Fellows are required to intern with a business or organization working in their field of expertise during the summer months.

Practical training – KAEF Fellows are given the option of staying in the U.S. for an extended period of time after completing their degree in order to participate in a practical training internship.

KAEF Fellows have served with, among other organizations, Dell Computers, the World Bank, Voice of America, the International Finance Corporation, the Duke Center for International Development, and the Xerox Corporation.

What Is The Application Process?

Selection of KAEF Fellows is a three-step process:

First, all applications are reviewed by U.S. admissions experts

Second, highly ranked candidates are interviewed and tested in Kosovo

Finally, the applications, test scores, and interview results of highly ranked candidates are reviewed by U.S. admissions experts and fellowship awardees are selected. Results are announced in early summer.

The KAEF program does not discriminate on the basis of ethnic origin, age, race, color, gender, religion, or disability. Competition for the KAEF program is merit-based and open to anyone.

Alumni in Kosova use creativity to help the community

By Arbresha Beqiri, YES 2016-2017, hosted by American Councils in Cedar Falls, IA

Over the course of three weeks in November, I held four workshops on addressing community issues through art with 23 seventh grade students at Muharrem Shemsedini Middle School in the suburbs of Ferizaj with help from Visar Zeka (YES 2014-2015 hosted by AYUSA in Prosper, TX) and Andolin Sylejmani, the seventh grade class advisor. I called the program “Creativity and Community.” This was an unforgettable experience that will remain with me and with the children who participated for a very long time.

arbresha 1

Students brainstormed about issues that impact their community.

During each workshop, participants developed critical thinking and debating skills through discussions on topics such as “Is life better in a village or a city?” and “Should animals be used to test new products?” Each discussion was followed by an opportunity for participants to express their thoughts and feelings through painting and drawing. It was amazing from my side to see how the children understood these topics, and how they could come up with so many ideas and different drawings and paintings to explain how they saw various issues from their perspective.

During our last workshop, participants worked together in groups of five or six on a topic they chose themselves: “Should students be legally responsible for bullying?” They put all their ideas on a big paper using words, drawings, and stickers. We concluded the workshop by discussing what part of the workshop was their favorite over pizza. “It was awesome that we could do all this fun stuff: paint, draw and work on groups about topics that we liked,” one participant reflected. Another praised the program as a “chance to talk and express my thoughts, [which] I usually don’t do,” citing a preference for drawing and painting over conversation.

Students created paintings that expressed their perspectives on issues in their community.

Most of the participants, however, started the program with the phrase, “I am not good at drawing or painting.” By the end of the program, participants were certain that they could use art in so many different ways. “I [previously] thought that you have to have talent,” one participant explained. “but [now] I understand that you can do so much with art, more than we think.”

This project was inspired by my participation in the IDEAL Workshop for YES and FLEX alumni held in Prishtina, Kosovo, in March 2018, where I was a participant in the “Utilizing the Arts as a Tool for Social Change” theme group. The project was also supported by the 2018 IDEAL Workshop grants program funded by the U.S. Embassy in Prishtina.

Introduction to Kosovo American Education Fund through KAEFA Academy

Prishtina, Kosova,

On February 26th, Kosovo American Education Fund Alumni hosted the first session of KAEFA Academy on the topic of “Introduction to KAEF.” The academy took place at the National Library with more than 70 students showing interest and joining the academy.

KAEFA academi 2


Blendrit Elezaj (KAEFA ’17) opened the academy and made a short presentation on its mission to inform the youth, particularly the students of ‘University of Prishtina,’ as well as how the academy will further develop. Gjeni Shporta, the Country Representative of American Councils in Prishtina, talked about the nature of KAEF and explained how the academy will prepare the students for applying not only for this program but for other scholarships as well.

Darsei Canhasi (KAEFA ’16) was the second keynote speaker on this session. After briefly introducing himself and his work, Darsei elaborated on the importance of work experience while choosing a master’s degree. He also noted the significance of well written personal statements and his personal case on how he prepared for the standardized exams. Darsei compared pursuing a master’s degree in the US with the ones in Europe and advised that completing a two-year degree gives you the opportunity to gain more knowledge and as it is with KAEF, the opportunity to work for a period of 12 months after graduation can bring social and networking benefits to anyone’s career. He also highlighted KAEF’s reputation as one of the best and most established scholarships in Kosovo, with a great alumni association.

Eremal Bajrami (KAEFA ’16) and Plarentina Desku (KAEFA ’18) spoke about the flexibility of the US education system and its many advantages.

The event wrapped up with a Q&A session from the students.

Many thanks to our attendees and please make sure to join us on our next academy session which will take place on March, 2019.

KAEF Marks its 100th Fellowship with a Gala Event


The Night of the Rising Stars is back on the horizon!

This year marks a special year as we award our 100th fellowship. Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF) invites you to join in celebrating and contributing to the education of our bright and promising Kosovars. Hotel Emerald will light up with an amazing crowd, business and community leaders, delicious dinner, drinks and great music.

A raffle will be held in order to raise money for the foundation.


Friday, December 07, 2018 
7:00 PM


Hotel Emerald 

Prishtina-Skopje Highway

10000 Prishtina, Kosova

Event ticket includes networking, a full course dinner menu and entertainment.

Early Bird Special, 30 Eur ($35) per guest (before November 23, 2018),

Regular Price Ticket 50 Eur ($60) (after November 23, 2018).

To purchase your ticket visit:

Host Committee

Nita Bicurri, KAEF Alumna- Syracuse University ‘18

Darsei Canhasi, KAEF Alumnus- Brandeis University `16

Plarentina Desku, KAEF Alumna – Syracuse University ‘18

Blendrit Elezaj, KAEF Alumnus- Syracuse University `17

Arber Kadriu, KAEF Alumnus – American University ‘17

Alba Kondirolli – American Councils

Jon Mulliqi, KAEF Alumnus – George Washington University ‘18

Gjeni Shporta – American Councils

Jeta Zagragja, KAEF Committee

Sponsorships & Questions


Kosova’s Young Leaders are Making History on the World Stage

February 2017 has brought Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF) Graduate Fellowship program great news and successes of its alumni on the world stage.
Zana Zeqiri Rudi, an alumna of the KAEF program was recently named Kosova’s Ambassador to Panama. Zana (Master in Public Policy, Harvard University ’10) previously worked as an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Kosova and as Chargé d’Affaires at the Kosova Embassy in Panama, which was established on November 15th, 2013.
During the ceremony in the Salon Amarillo of the Palace of Herons, Ambassador Zeqiri Rudi expressed: “I am honored to represent the Republic of Kosova as its first ambassador to Panama, an ally of Kosova and its strong supporter in the international arena.” Further, the Ambassador noted that she will continue her work on strengthening the bilateral relations between Panama and Kosova.

Zana Rudi

PANAMA – FEBRUARY 9: (L-R) The Ambassador of Kosova, Zana Zeqiri Rudi presented the credentials to the President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, accompanied by the Vice President, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado and Second Secretary Valmira Thaçi-Musa.

Another great achievement comes from KAEF alumnus Shpat Deda (Master in Business Administration, Temple University, ’15). Shpat was engaged as a producer in the making of short film HOME, a British-Kosovar production to win a BAFTA award in the category of Best Short Film. HOME is the first Kosovar production, partially shot in Kosova, to win the prestigious BAFTA award.
During a press conference in Prishtina, Shpat remarked: “Success comes best served when shared with others and in the case of HOME we share it with so many people, it’s a true blessing! HOME has brought together the most talented young people whom I had the honor to work with and it serves as a proof about Kosova’s potential. We need to build more bridges so that the Kosovar talent comes to international attention because we already have many successes to prove that this is possible.”


Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF)

The Kosovo American Education Fund (KAEF), an American Councils’ program supports long-term economic development in Kosova by providing fellowships to promising Kosovars to attend top-level graduate (master’s) training at U.S. universities. Returning to Kosova, program graduates assume leadership positions in business, non-profit organizations and the government, and use their technical knowledge to generate sustainable and positive change. KAEF has earned a reputation as one of the most prestigious fully-funded fellowship programs in Kosova. All applicants undergo a merit-based, competitive selection process to guarantee that the most qualified, motivated, and talented candidates are selected.

Created by the American people through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and administered by American Councils for International Education (ACIE), the KAEF program is an education fund that allows eligible/qualified Kosovars the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills in areas that would support economic growth, investment, and sustainable development in Kosova. From 2004 to date, the KAEF program has awarded more than 90 master’s-level fellowships through a competitive and merit-based process to outstanding Kosovar students.

For additional information, please visit:

Read about YES alumna Dea Saraqini’s “Sweetness for Charity” project



Living in a community where women are often treated with disregard, you realize you have to do something to change that. In Kosova we lack on supporting women in different fields, but that never means that this won’t change. There is always room for change and it often starts with one person. There was this quote I read once, saying “Don’t expect to see a change, if you don’t make one”. There are organizations in my community which work for women’s rights and advocate for women in general but this is not enough. We can not only wait for different organizations to do their work, we also need to do ours. This made me think about what I want to do to change my community for the better.

As a feminist, I am moved by women’s issues and domestic violence is one of them. In Gjakova, Kosovo there is a place where women victims of domestic violence are sheltered; this place is called “The Safe House”. The place itself is run by a woman and there is a tremendous job done to keep the violence survivors and their children safe. These women stay and eat at this house but also seek for jobs, so they can get their lives back. For some of them it’s hard to get a job, or even try to start their life from zero, so they stay at the house longer. Since many women and children are inhabitants of the safe house, more money is needed to cover their needs and that is quite hard to get.

Kosova is known for not being at its best financial states, but the good thing is that this never stops people from helping the less fortunate than us. Whenever it comes to donating or helping someone poor or sick, people all stand together for that person.

This time we (YES Alumni Kosova) decided to make the process of donating more fun.  Between February 18th  and  20th we decided to hold a bake sale, in my town, Gjakova, which we called “Sweetness for Charity”. During these three days we sold many different desserts, tea and coffee. Initially the desserts were planned to be baked by the alumni,  but the event got so much attention from media that everyone who heard about it, wanted to help us by baking something. It was amazing that so many people got together to collect money for the Safe House. Women were baking, youth volunteered to help sell the sweets, TVs and Radio Stations were really interested to cover the event, the tent was donated etc. Being able to bring all these people together proved to me that unity is strength. For three days I got to witness the generosity of people in my community. There were people who stopped by to ask if we needed help, some who didn’t buy anything just donated money, some just wanted to congratulate us for our initiative. There is one particular case that I remember. One of the Alumni, Mjellma YES’13 , who was one of the key organizers of the project, was hanging out with her friends at the café when this one man recognized her from our TV appearance to promote “Sweetness for Charity”. He told her that he really liked our initiative and he wanted to donate as well. In the beginning Mjellma YES ‘13 thought that he will be coming to buy some desserts, but he said that all he wanted to do is give a symbolic amount of money, about $40. This showed us how generous someone can be for a good cause.  All of this filled me and everyone involved, with positive thoughts that our community is changing for good.


After three days of hard work involving the whole community, we managed to collect 398, 40€ (or $ 438.22). This money was directly given to the head of the Safe House, with which we decided to put them in the bank and then the Safe House would use them for their needs from time to time. But collecting this amount of money isn’t our proudest accomplishment. What we are the proudest of is that we managed to bring awareness on women’s condition in our society and showed that when we all get together, we can do something great, but it all has to start somewhere, maybe by one person.


Dea Saraqini. YES 2014-2015, KOSOVA, hosted in Greenville, South Carolina