Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program (SYLEP)

The Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program (SYLEP) is a three-week program, from July 10 – August 1, 2018, in the United States for 32 undergraduate Saudi students or recently-graduated university students between the ages of 22-26. SYLEP 2018 seeks to build leadership skills, civic responsibility, appreciation for cultural diversity, and community engagement and volunteerism among Saudi university students.

The goals of this program are to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Saudi Arabia, prepare young leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities, and develop leadership skills among Saudi youth. They will observe how individuals, non-governmental organizations, and government entities address community needs through public, private, and joint initiatives.

Over the course of the program, participants will engage in a stimulating series of trainings and experiences while interacting with dozens of American volunteers, program clients, host families, and community leaders. Participants will gain skills in leadership, program design, critical thinking, and community engagement while deepening their respect and appreciation for diversity. During the program, participants will divide into subgroups and visit different cities in the United States. They will spend an extended weekend living with American host families to gain more insights into American daily life. Participants will visit various organizations, learning about a wide range of project models and youth leadership opportunities, and participate in community service.

 Participant Eligibility

SYLEP is open to Saudi undergraduate students or recently-graduated university students between the ages of 22-26.  Students from all over Saudi Arabia are encouraged to apply, especially those applying from outside Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam/Al-Khobar.  Students who have traveled to the U.S. or studied abroad previously are ineligible. Applicants should demonstrate sufficient English-language skills to participate in U.S. university-level classes. Applicants should have demonstrated leadership abilities in their schools and communities and have a desire to become successful leaders. Applicants must hold Saudi citizenship and cannot hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident. Acceptance into SYLEP is competitive and university transcripts will be reviewed as part of the application process. Participants must return to Saudi Arabia after completion of the program. Only complete applications submitted prior to the deadline of January 18, 2018 will be reviewed. Finalist interviews will be conducted in February-March.

  • Completed, application form (Word Document ONLY)
  • Completed essays in English on application form
  • Updated resume/curriculum vitae (CV) (Word Document ONLY)
  • Copy of the data/photo page(s) of your passport (JPEG Format ONLY)
  • Official transcripts for years of university study (JPEG Format ONLY)

Email all required documents to: SYLEP@state.gov