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Asia-Pacific Spotlight: International Exchange Opportunities to and from Asia-Pacific

Date:

According to a recent Open Doors report, countries in East Asia continue to be among the leading places of origin of international students, with China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan ranking in the top six sending countries. In addition, the region offers numerous opportunities for U.S. individuals to engage in international exchange, including programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and multiple exchange providers.

We want to let you know about a few of the many amazing opportunities for travelers to participate in international exchange between the United States and East Asia and the Pacific (EAP)! On this page you’ll find examples of:

  • Opportunities for U.S. citizens to go abroad to East Asia and the Pacific
  • Opportunities for citizens from East Asia and the Pacific to go to the United States

We encourage people with disabilities to explore and apply!

This page is part of NCDE’s Spotlight on East Asia and the Pacific. Learn more!

A row of illustrations of small flowers including pink lotus and cherry blossom and a blue flower

Opportunities for U.S. Citizens to Go Abroad

Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an immersive summer opportunity for American college and university students to learn languages essential to America’s engagement with the world. Languages offered in the EAP region include:

  • Chinese
  • Indonesian
  • Japanese
  • Korean

CLS is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Visit the Critical Language Scholarship website

National Security Language Initiative for Youth

NSLI-Y provides U.S. teens with intensive language immersion programs in locations around the world. Beginners are encouraged to apply, and previous language experience is not required. Applications will open this fall. In the EAP region, NSLI-Y programs may take place in China, Indonesia, Korea, and Taiwan, offering the following languages for study:

  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Indonesian
  • Korean

NSLI-Y also offers Virtual NSLI-Y, a 10-week, beginner-level foreign language and culture experience for U.S. high school students to explore languages critical to U.S. national security in an interactive online format. This program is designed for true beginners, so no prior language-learning experience is necessary.

  • EAP languages available for Beginner-Level Virtual Language Learning: Chinese (Mandarin) and Korean.
  • Apply before June 10 at 4:00 PM ET!

NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Visit the NSLI-Y website
Apply Now for the Virtual NSLI-Y Fall 2024 Program!

Fulbright in the East Asia-Pacific Region

Have you ever thought about applying for a Fulbright grant to study, conduct research, and/or teach in the U.S. or abroad? Students and scholars with disabilities are encouraged to apply for this prestigious program!

The Fulbright Program is led by the United States government in partnership with more than 160 countries worldwide. It offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds. Applications are open now!

Fulbright countries in the EAP region include: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, South Pacific Island Nations, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

English Teaching Assistant Programs are available to: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. Knowledge of local language not required prior to arrival.

For information on programs in the East Asia-Pacific Region, contact: FBstudent.EAP@iie.org

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Visit the Fulbright U.S. Student Program East Asia-Pacific website

Fulbright Student Spotlight: Olivia in the Philippines

People with disabilities are encouraged to apply and have indeed completed successful Fulbright experiences. Olivia Mae M. Asuncion, a lifelong power wheelchair user, focused her Fulbright research in the Philippines on the accessibility of elementary schools. She recently reflected on her experience and highlighted the equipment that made it accessible in a written piece for Wirecutter titled: “Traveling in a Wheelchair Is Hard. But This Wheelchair Let Me Do a Fulbright in the Philippines.”
Read Olivia’s article for Wirecutter

Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) Hiliary Echo Douglas Scholarship

This scholarship will be awarded to one student each year planning to study abroad in Vietnam or within other Southeast Asian cultures. All U.S. citizens or permanent residents currently enrolled as an undergraduate at a college or university in the U.S. are eligible to apply. The Spring 2025 application will open in July 2024.

Visit the FEA Scholarships website

Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET)

The JET Program is a competitive employment opportunity that allows young professionals to live and work in cities, towns, and villages throughout Japan. Being a JET is an opportunity to work and to represent the United States as cultural ambassadors to Japan. Most participants serve as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) and work in public and private schools throughout Japan. Some work as Coordinators for International Relations (CIRs) as interpreters/translators.

Visit the JET Program website

VIA Global Community Fellowship

The Global Community Fellowship is a one-year placement at a school or NGO in Asia. Historically posts have been located in Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, but this can vary.

Who Can Apply:

  • This fellowship is open to US university graduates and professionals (must have a bachelor’s degree).
  • US citizenship or residency is a requirement for most placements.
  • Starting and experienced professionals who have completed at least a 4-year undergraduate degree by their post start date.

Fellows will have 24/7 access to mental health counselors through a remote service called My SSP. In addition, Fellows have regular check-in calls with VIA staff and their post supervisors to not only discuss project progress but reflect on their wellbeing while abroad.

Visit the VIA Global Community Fellowship website

A row of illustrations of small flowers including pink lotus and cherry blossom and a blue flower

Opportunities for Citizens of the East Asia-Pacific Region to Travel to the United States

Young Pacific Leaders Professional Fellows Program

Applications are due on May 19, 2024.

The YPL Professional Fellows Program (YPL PFP) is intended to build and reinforce professional connections between the Pacific Islands and the United States. The international exchange will include a four-week professional fellowship placement at a host organization located in the United States (U.S.), as well as supplemental programming and travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C. The exchange will include a closing Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C. for participants to gather with other Professional Fellows from across the globe to discuss shared global challenges and solutions. Requirements include:

  • Applicants must be citizens and residents of an eligible country: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, or Wallis and Futuna.
  • Applicants must be between 25 – 40 years of age at the time of participation in exchange.

YPL PFP is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Visit the PFP website to apply!

Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) builds the leadership capabilities of youth in the region and promotes cross-border cooperation to solve regional and global challenges. The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, 18–35 years old who are making a difference in their communities, countries, and the region. Participants may come from Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

YSEALI is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Visit the YSEALI website

Community Solutions Program

The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a year-long professional leadership development program for established community leaders working to improve their communities by addressing issues related to the democracy and human rights, environment, peace and conflict resolution, and women and gender. CSP includes a four-month hands-on U.S. practicum, personalized leadership coaching and training through a graduate level leadership curriculum, and a six-month follow-on community project fellows implement in their home country. People from countries and regions around the world participate in the CSP.

Eligible countries in East Asia and the Pacific include: East Asia and the Pacific: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

CSP is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Visit the CSP website

Fulbright Foreign Student Program

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. Approximately 4,000 foreign students receive Fulbright scholarships each year.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide, and countries in the EAP region include: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, South Pacific Island Nations, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.

Participants from some of the above countries may be eligible for the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) program, which provides young teachers of English as a Foreign Language the opportunity to refine their teaching skills and broaden their knowledge of American cultures and customs while strengthening the instruction of foreign languages at colleges and universities in the United States.

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program is administered by binational Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies. All Foreign Student Program applications are processed by these offices.

Program eligibility and selection procedures vary widely by country. Please visit the program website to find information about the Fulbright Program in your home country, including eligibility requirements and application guidelines.

Fulbright is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Visit the Fulbright Foreign Student Program website

VIA Culture & Innovation in Healthcare

VIA’s comparative health care programs empower medical students from across Asia to become empathetic, self-aware health care professionals able to communicate across boundaries. Programs combine cultural immersion, critical analysis and experiential learning activities with opportunities to experience the clinical, technological and entrepreneurial forces dramatically reshaping health care in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • Location: Silicon Valley, with visits to San Francisco & Stanford University
    Open to: University students studying in a health-related field (pre-med, pharmacy, nursing, public health, etc.)

Visit the Culture & Innovation in Healthcare website

VIA Social Innovation & Design Thinking

VIA believes in the transformative power of innovation to turn our most challenging social issues into opportunities for creating a brighter future. Through short cross-cultural and immersion trips, participants can experience the possibility of a better world by visiting social enterprises, learning the skills to create their own innovations for social good and creating a strong network of international changemakers.

Location: Silicon Valley, with visits to San Francisco & Stanford University
Open to: Students & starting professionals from Asia & the US (must be 18 or older)

Visit the Social Innovation & Design-Thinking website

Author: Ashley H

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