For, students, scholars, and researchers interested in cultural exchange in the SEE region, studying languages of the SEE region, or conducting research in the SEE region, several opportunities are available through programs administered in the American Councils headquarters office in Washington, DC and implemented by the American Councils offices of the SEE region.
The YES Abroad program was initiated as a reciprocal extension of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program for international students from countries with significant Muslim populations. The first group of Americans participated in YES Abroad in the 2009-2010 academic year. The program now offers 65 full scholarships across 12 countries to American students nationwide.
American Councils administers the YES Abroad program in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia. In 2012, Sarajevo began to host YES Abroad participants, and sites in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Skopje, Macedonia were added in 2014. Students live with local host families and attend high school with local peers. Students also have the opportunity to study Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (BCS) and Macedonian language and to explore their host country through cultural enhancement activities conducted throughout the academic year.
YES Abroad students in all YES Abroad countries serve as “youth ambassadors” of the U.S., promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with host families and communities. Students acquire leadership skills while engaging in activities to learn about the host country’s society and values, while educating others about American society and values.
The YES Abroad program is funded by the U.S. Department of State. The program is administered by a consortium of nonprofit organizations led by American Councils and including AFS-USA, AMIDEAST, and iEARN-USA
The Balkan Language Initiative offers intensive, highly- individualized instruction in Albanian, Bosnian, Macedonian, and Serbian. Through homestays, conversation partners, in-class instruction, and a wide range of extracurricular activities, participants enjoy an unprecedented opportunity to immerse themselves in daily local life in a region largely unserved by study abroad programs.
Through OPIT’s six-week, English-language internships, students gain the substantive overseas professional experience and intercultural communication skills demanded by today’s global market. Participants can choose a placement in a variety of fields, including democracy building, human rights, education, business, law, gender issues, journalism, public health, environmental protection, and social services in 12 countries in Southeast Europe and Eurasia.
All internships take place in a location with an American Councils field office that is actively engaged in the host country’s civil society and maintains regular contact with U.S. Embassy officials. A full-time in-country American Councils staff person oversees the professional and intercultural program, assists participants in administrative and personal matters, and works closely with the host organization to ensure that participants are engaged in meaningful projects. The OPIT program draws on an extensive network of community partners, expert regional staff, and overseas resources developed by American Councils over the years.
Knowledge of foreign-language is not required; however, the program does provide foreign language internships to interested and qualified students, and all students have the opportunity to combine their internships with intensive language study.
Title VIII research fellowships are available for U.S. graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars seeking to conduct policy-relevant research in the following locations: Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, the South Caucasus, and Southeast Europe. Competition is currently open in two Title VIII fellowship categories:
The American Councils Title VIII Research Scholar Program provides full support for graduate students and scholars seeking to conduct in-country, independent policy relevant research. Typical awards provide round-trip international travel; housing and living stipends; visa support; overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance; archive access; and logistical support.
The American Councils Title VIII Combined Research and Language Training Program serves graduate students and scholars who, in addition to support for research, require supplemental language instruction. Typical awards provide round-trip international travel; housing and living stipends; visa support; overseas health, accident, and evacuation insurance; archive access; logistical support; and up to 10 academic hours per week of language instruction.
All applicants must be U.S. citizens. Fellowship competitions are held annually. Please click the Apply Now button for more information.