TechGirls Program: Empowering Girls to be Global STEM Leaders

Deadline Date: 16-Dec-2022

If you are interested in being a TechGirl, the Summer 2023 Application period is open now.

TechGirls is an initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, implemented by Legacy International in partnership with Virginia Tech University. The program is designed to empower young girls from around the world to pursue higher education and, ultimately, careers in STEM fields. A highlight of the program is to collaborate and build lasting friendships with like-minded peers from all over the world who share common interests.

TechGirls brings together 15 competitively-selected American young women (ages 15-17) with 111 peers from 35 countries/territories around the world for a 25-day international exchange program focused on the in-depth exploration of applied technology and STEM topics with a 8-month mentoring program (including pre- and post-exchange).

The exchange will include an interactive technology camp at Virginia Tech University, site visits to technology companies, discussions on STEM education and careers, career readiness workshops, community service opportunities, leadership training, job shadow opportunities, cross-cultural dialogues, recreational activities, and homestays. American and foreign TechGirls participants will be required to implement follow-on service projects in their home communities that they designed during their U.S.-based exchange. Activity sites include Washington, D.C., host cities across the country (Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, or Seattle), and the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

The scholarship is fully inclusive of travel, courses, programming, housing and meals, staff supervision and ground transport for sightseeing.

U.S. youth STEM leaders, this is your chance to collaborate with likeminded peers from across the globe and gain tech skills that will inspire you to pursue your dreams.

Eligibility Criteria

Students eligible to apply are those who:

  • Are citizens of one of the eligible countries/territories and living in that country/territory at time of exchange:
    • Sub-Saharan Africa (AF) – Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa.
    • East Asia and Pacific (EAP) – Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Mongolia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
    • Middle East and North Africa (NEA) – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia
    • South and Central Asia (SCA) – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • Western Hemisphere (WHA) – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Suriname.
    • Europe and Eurasia (EUR) – Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Turkey.
    • United States of America.
  • Are between the ages of 15 and 17 at the start of the exchange July 8th, 2023 (Born on or between July 9, 2005 and July 8, 2008);
  • Have demonstrated advanced skills and a serious interest in science, technology, engineering, and/or math in their academic studies;
  • Intend to pursue higher education and/or careers in STEM, especially technology;
  • Have strong English language skills (advanced intermediate English skills);
  • Exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness;
  • Will attend at least one additional semester of secondary school upon their return to their home country;
  • Are committed to completing a community-based project upon their return home; and
  • Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa).
  • Eligible candidates must be citizens and current residents of participating countries. Third country nationals permanently living in an eligible country should contact us to determine eligibility prior to applying.
  • Preference will be given to those who have limited or no prior experience in the United States. You are not eligible if you have travelled to the United States in the last three years as part of any other ECA exchange program.

Please note that family members of U.S. Embassy or Consulate staff. U.S. Department of State employees, family members of the administering organization or partner organizations are not eligible to apply.

For more information, visit TechGirls.

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