Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program (SYLEP)

The Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program (SYLEP) is a three-week program that will be held from August 9- 29, 2021, in the United States for 40 undergraduate Saudi students or recently graduated university students between the ages of 21-26. SYLEP 2021 seeks to build leadership skills, civic responsibility, appreciation for cultural diversity, and community engagement and volunteerism among Saudi university students. The theme of this year’s program is “Innovation.”

The goals of SYLEP are to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of Saudi Arabia, to prepare young leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities, and to develop leadership skills among Saudi youth. Participants 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 series of trainings and experiences while interacting with dozens of American volunteers, host families, and community leaders. Participants will also gain skills in innovation, as well as areas such as leadership, program design, and critical thinking, 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 activities.

Participant Eligibility

SYLEP is open to Saudi undergraduate students or recently graduated university students between the ages of 21-26.  Students from all over Saudi Arabia are encouraged to apply, especially those 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 immediately to Saudi Arabia after completion of the program. Only complete applications submitted prior to the deadline of March 13, 2021 will be reviewed. Finalist interviews will be conducted in April.

To apply please prepare the below documents and visit the following link: 

  • Updated resume/curriculum vitae (CV) (Word Document ONLY)
  • Copy of the data/photo page(s) of your passport (JPEG Format ONLY)
  • Official transcripts for all years of university study (JPEG Format ONLY)