High School applicants should become familiar with the online application instructions attached below, write down their answers to the essay questions, and then input the information into the online application at


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NameHigh School applicants should become familiar with the online application instructions attached below, write down their answers to the essay questions, and then input the information into the online application at
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Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program
U.S. High School Student Application Instructions and Essay Questions

2012


APPLICATION DEADLINE:

February 29, 2012

High School applicants should become familiar with the online application instructions attached below, write down their answers to the essay questions, and then input the information into the online application at

http://www.regonline.com/IYLEP-HSusstudent


           

                 

IYLEP for high school students is sponsored and funded by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Youth Programs Division and administered by World Learning.

Program Introduction and Application Instructions

The Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program is a four week youth leadership exchange based in the U.S. for Iraqi and American teenagers ages 15-17 and several Iraqi adults. The program aims to develop a cadre of young adults in Iraq and the United States who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, an awareness of current & global issues, strong interpersonal leadership skills, willingness to foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups in Iraq, and to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between the United States and Iraq.  Participants will be required to implement follow-on activities upon their return home that will help the participants stay in touch with each other and reflect on their experiences and integrate that learning into their day-to-day lives at home. An important goal of the program is that the student leaders, now empowered, will train other student leaders through student led community oriented service projects.

The goals of the program are to:

1) enable the participants to understand civic participation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy;

2) develop leadership skills among high school students and adult leaders appropriate to their needs;

3) foster understanding and build relationships across ethnic, religious, and national groups; and

4) promote mutual understanding between the people of Iraq and the U.S.
What is covered?

There is no application fee for applicants.

The United States Government, in conjunction with its private partners, will pay for domestic air travel for the program segments, orientations, program and visa fees and administration, site visits and seminars, lodging and meals, some cultural activities, educational materials, accident and sickness insurance, and a modest amount of pocket money.  Participants will stay with volunteer host families and in conference centers.

Participants are responsible for expenses related to the application process (copying, mailing, photographs, etc.), passport fees, and spending money for souvenirs and other items in the United States.

Who is eligible to apply?

Student applicants must:

  • Be at least 15 years old and not more than 17 years old at the time of the exchange;

  • Have a high school graduation year of 2013 or later (current seniors are not eligible);

  • Have permission from either a parent or legal guardian to participate in the four-week program;

  • Have citizenship and current residency in the U.S.;

  • Submit a complete application including photograph, essays, and letters of recommendations;

  • Have not participated nor traveled on an ECA-funded program within one academic year or the last three years, respectively; and

  • Not be related to an ECA Youth Programs Division staff member nor of an employee of an organization responsible for implementing IYLEP 2012.


What are the criteria for selection?

Students will be evaluated on the following characteristics:

  • a demonstrated interest in and commitment to volunteer and civic activities;

  • ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and tolerate the opinions of others;

  • leadership potential;

  • good social and communication skills;

  • good academic performance;

  • an energetic, positive attitude; and

  • ability to implement projects that benefit the applicant’s school and/or community.

Selection Process

  • Individuals that make it past the initial application review by our panel will be contacted for an interview in early March 2012;

  • Due to the large quantity of applications received, it is not possible to inform all applicants of their status. Thus, applicants can assume that they were not chosen if they have not been contacted by the hosting organization by March 15, 2012;

  • Additional questions should be emailed to youthprograms@worldlearning.org

NO APPLICATION MATERIALS SHOULD BE EMAILED. PLEASE UTILIZE THE REGONLINE WEBSITE FOR ACCESSING, UPLOADING, AND SUBMITTING ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS.APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

(IMPORTANT)

The IYLEP High School application is an online application. You can access the application at www.regonline.com/IYLEP-HSusstudent. Please follow instructions carefully.

**It is important to know that you cannot save data in your application until you have completed all the fields. We recommend looking at the application to become familiar with it, preparing your answers to the essays (the essay questions are included on this form), and then entering all the information at once. Once you have done this and submitted your application, you can return to it using the password you create to make edits, change your answers, or upload required documents.**

Two Hour Time Limit: Prepare Ahead!

  • When you log in, you will have TWO HOURS to submit the application before it times out. It is important to know that you will not be able to save data in your application unless you enter all required fields and submit it within those two hours.

  • Prepare Ahead: We suggest that you look over the application, prepare your essay answers ahead of time, and then complete all the fields when you are ready.

  • Work Offline: You may write the application or essays in Microsoft Word (or any other program), and then paste your answers into the application. Please pay attention to the word limits on the essay questions.

  • At the end of the application, applicants will be required to certify that the application was written using only their OWN words.

To Look at or Begin Your Application

  • To begin, click Register on the website. You must have a valid email address to start the application.

The online application contains several sections:

SECTION 1: PERSONAL AND CONTACT INFORMATION

  • This section is where you will input general information like your name, city, school name, and telephone number. You will also upload your photo to this section.

  • PASSWORD: In Section 1, you will also create your own password to access your application after you have submitted it. WRITE DOWN YOUR PASSWORD. You will need it if you want to make changes or upload documents to your application before the February 29, 2012 deadline. There is a link to change your password if you forget it. REMEMBER, YOUR PASSWORD ONLY TAKES EFFECT WHEN YOU HAVE SUBMITTED YOUR APPLICATION.

SECTION 2: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • This section is where you will input information like the languages you speak, your international travel, and the volunteer or social activities you take part in. If you have a passport already, you will upload the photo page of your passport in this section.

SECTION 3: SHORT AND LONG ESSAYS

  • This section is where you will input your answer to the short and long essays. The essay questions are listed on this form. We recommend answering the questions on this form first when you are offline. Then, when you are ready to submit your application, you can either cut-and-paste or type your answers to the questions into the online application.

SECTION 4: PARENT INFORMATION

  • This section is where you will input your parents’ contact information. There is also a form at the end of the document, the PARENT/GUARDIAN PERMISSION FORM. You will need to print this form, have your parents sign it, scan it, and then UPLOAD IT TO YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION.

SECTION 5: LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION

There are two LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION FORMS attached to this document. You will need to print them out and give them to a professor or another adult who is not related to you to fill out. When the forms are returned to you, you should UPLOAD THEM TO YOUR ONLINE APPLICATION. If your professor wants to submit them directly to IYLEP, he or she can scan the letters and then go to http://bit.ly/USStudentHSDocs to upload your letters directly without you being able to see them. Make sure that the email address you use to register for the application is on the letters you give to your professors as well as your birth month. If you already have you Registration ID number, make sure they have this too.

SUBMITTING YOUR APPLICATION

  • Once you have answered all the questions, click the CONTINUE button at the bottom of the application. If you click the button and are not able to move to the REVIEW & SUBMIT page, it is because there are incomplete fields on your application. Look for the sign, which will show you where you are missing information.

  • At the next screen, click the FINISH button. You will get a confirmation email sent to you. REMEMBER, you can use your password to access your application and make changes or upload documents until the deadline of February 29, 2012 (11:59PM Eastern Standard Time).

  • APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED UNTIL AFTER THE DEADLINE. Please feel free to make changes, edits or upload documents to your submitted application using your email address and password until February, 29, 2012. ALL REQUIRED DOCUMENTS (PHOTO, LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION, and PARENT/GUARDIAN PERMISSION FORM) must be uploaded to your application or it will not be reviewed!

  • REGISTRATION IDENTIFICATION (ID) NUMBER: Once you submit your application, you will get an 8-digit Registration ID number. If you need to send a document to youthprograms@worldlearning.org (if for some reason you cannot upload it to your own application), make sure to put this ID number in the subject of your email.

  • WHAT IF MY PROFESSORS WANT TO SUBMIT MY RECOMMENDATIONS DIRECTLY TO IYLEP WITHOUT ME SEEING THEM?

If your professors want to send their letters of recommendation about you directly to IYLEP instead of giving them to you to upload to your application, please tell them to scan the letters and then go to http://bit.ly/USStudentHSDocs

They can then upload your letters directly without you being able to see them. Make sure that the email address you use to register for the application is on the letters you give to your professors as well as your birth month. If you already have you Registration ID number, make sure they have this too.

How to Edit to your application

If you have submitted your application:

  • Click Already Registered? Then, log in using the email address and password that you entered when you first submitted your application. All your data will be saved, and you can change it if you want.

If you have not submitted your application (but have logged in before):

  • You cannot save some data and then return to it later if you do not submit your full application (except for the documents you need to upload by the deadline). This is why you should prepare your information and your answers to questions before you begin filling the application out.

  • You can log into the application again using the same email. If you have not yet submitted your application, you will not be asked for a password. You should not use multiple email addresses to submit multiple applications. Doing so may result in your disqualification and therefore from being considered for the program.

CHECKLIST OF DOCUMENTS YOU WILL NEED TO UPLOAD BEFORE FEBRUARY 29, 2012


 Passport-size photo of yourself (your face must be visible and clear)
 Two Letters of Recommendation from teachers or an adult who is not related to you (uploaded directly to your application or uploaded by your references to http://bit.ly/USStudentHSDocs)
 Signed Parent/Guardian Information Form (uploaded to your application by February 29, 2012)
NOTE: WE PREFER THAT YOU UPLOAD ALL DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO YOUR APPLICATION. IT IS ALSO FINE FOR YOUR REFERENCES TO UPLOAD THEM TO http://bit.ly/USStudentHSDocs. PLEASE DO NOT DO BOTH! UPLOADING DOCUMENTS USING ONE METHOD IS SUFFICIENT.
COMPLETE APPLICATION CHECKLIST

Your online application should include everything below by February 29, 2012:

 Student Background and Contact information

 Photograph

 Student Additional Information (languages, activities)

 Short Essays

 Long Essays

 Parent/Guardian Information

 Parent/Guardian Consent Form

 2 letters of recommendation

ESSAY QUESTIONS

There are 3 short essays and 3 long essays on the online application. The essay questions are included below. You should answer these before you fill out your application. You can then cut and paste your answers into your application when you are ready to submit it.
SHORT ESSAYS

Please write your answers in clear English and in your own words. Plagiarism will result in the removal of your application from consideration. Your answers should not exceed 250 words.

Why do you want to participate in the exchange program? What skills are you hoping to develop from this program that will help you in the future? What do you hope to learn from Iraqi teenagers?



In which ways can youth be involved in your community? Do you think youth can be leaders? Why or why not?
What three leadership skills do you think are most important and why?



Long Essays



Please respond to ALL three essay questions below in clear English and in your own words. Plagiarism will result in the removal of your application from consideration. Some questions have multiple parts, so make sure to answer each part of the question.
Tell us about a problem that exists in your hometown. What can young people do to help resolve it? What are some of your ideas to solve the problem?
What makes you an effective leader? Using two examples, describe how you are a leader in your school, community, or home.
Describe an ethical or cross-cultural conflict you have experienced and describe how you resolved this situation.


Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding the High School Application, Eligibility, and Selection


1. Can siblings apply to IYLEP?

Yes, siblings can apply to IYLEP.

2. I was selected as a finalist/alternate for IYLEP 2011, but was unable to participate; do I need to re-apply to be considered for IYLEP 2012?


Yes. Application procedures and requirements have changed since the 2011 application, therefore you are required to re-apply.

3. I do not meet the age requirements for IYLEP. Can I still apply?


No.

4. Will I receive confirmation that my application has been received?


Yes. You will receive a computer-generated email.

5. Will I receive notice whether or not I have been accepted to the program?


Due to the high-level of applications we receive, we may not be able to contact all those that have applied.  If you have not received an invitation for an interview by March 15, 2012, you can assume that you were not selected.

6. Can I apply again next year if I am not selected this year?

Yes, if your city is one of the cities hosting the IYLEP program.

7. What does it cost to participate in IYLEP?

The United States Government, in conjunction with its private partners, will pay for domestic air travel for the program segments, orientation session, program and administration fees, site visits and seminars, lodging and meals, some cultural activities, educational materials, accident and sickness insurance, and a modest amount of pocket money.  Participants will stay with host families and in conference centers throughout the program.

Participants will be responsible for expenses related to the application process (copying, mailing, photographs, etc.), spending money for souvenirs and other desired items while traveling, and for getting themselves to and from their home city airport for the program beginning and conclusion.

8. What will I be doing on this 4-week program?

The program will start at the SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont with an intensive leadership, peacebuilding and dialogue week with the Iraqis and other U.S. students.  There may be other international youth at SIT on concurrent programs at the same time.  You'll participate in global issues workshops, teambuilding activities, dialogue groups, local field trips, a ropes course, canoeing and various arts and recreational activities.

You'll then spend 2 weeks with a smaller group of Iraqi and U.S. students in a U.S. city.  You'll stay with a host family and participate in a variety of educational and fun activities around the city during the day.  These activities include organizational meetings, service projects, media projects, volunteering, field trips, sports or arts events plus free time with the host family. 

You'll spend the final week in Washington, DC, reuniting with the full group of Iraqi and U.S. participants where you will design follow on projects, explore DC, and wrap-up the program.

9. Why are there US students on the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program in the US?

We are recruiting a small group of U.S. students from 4-6 states to participate in this program alongside the larger Iraqi youth delegation.  The program aims to build lasting friendships and mutual understanding between young people from the U.S. and Iraq.  One of the best ways to do that is to spend time together travelling, learning and helping one another out in various educational and recreational activities.  You will participate in all the program activities alongside the Iraqi students, and as you're familiar with U.S. culture and lifestyles, you'll be able to help them with their cultural adjustment and transition to life in the U.S.  You'll also learn a tremendous amount about Iraqi youth and culture.  We believe in the idea of "citizen diplomacy": creating peace and understanding through people to people connections.  It's exciting, illuminating, inspiring, challenging and a lot of fun!

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