Advancing disability rights and leadership globally®

List of Funded Exchange Programs to the U.S.

A blind man sits near a flower-filled landscape.

Do you qualify for any of these expenses-paid opportunities?

ECA-Sponsored Exchange Programs

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) funds many exchange programs for professionals, teachers, college students, and high school students to gain leadership experience in the U.S. The ECA encourages people with disabilities to apply for all of its funded exchange programs, including:

  1. Fulbright – Open to scholars, graduate students, and language teachers.
  2. Humphrey – Open to mid-career professionals from select countries who hold a Bachelor’s degree.
  3. Community Solutions Program – Open to professionals from developing countries working in select fields.
  4. UGRAD – Open to undergraduate students from select countries.
  5. Community College Initiative Program – Open to adults from select developing countries interested in select fields.
  6. Mandela Washington Fellowship – Open to people ages 25-35 from Africa.
  7. YSEALI Fellowships – Open to professionals and college students from ASEAN countries.
  8. Youth Exchange and Study (YES) – Open to high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations.
  9. Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) – Open to high school students from countries of the former Soviet Union.
  10. Youth Leadership Program – Open to teens age 15-17 from select developing countries.

Want to know if you qualify for an ECA exchange program? Visit the U.S. Department of State ECA Exchanges website to search for U.S. opportunities by your nationality and education level.

Private Sponsored Exchange Programs

The following exchange programs are sponsored by various organizations and focus on themes such as leadership, democracy, or human rights:

  1. Echidna Global Scholars – Open to NGO leaders and academics from developing countries who advance the status of girls in the developing world.
  2. Atlas Corps – Open to non-profit leaders age 35 or younger.
  3. Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of 92nd Street Y – Open to non-profit leaders from select countries.
  4. Rotary World Peace Fellowships – Open to graduate students majoring in Peace Studies or related majors.
  5. Emerging Leaders International Fellows Program – Open to professionals under 36 who hold a college degree.
  6. Human Rights Watch Finberg Fellowship – Open to recent graduates of law school or graduate programs in select areas.
  7. Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program – Open to scholars, journalists, and democratic practitioners.
  8. Human Rights Advocates Program at Columbia University- Open to human rights leaders from developing countries.
  9. Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) – Open to graduate students and early career professionals from the Asia Pacific region.
  10. Partners of Americas Programs – Open to citizens of South America, Latin America, North America and the Caribbean.
  11. World Youth Alliance – Open to youth ages 18-29.

Exchange Programs with a Disability Focus

These organizations provide exchange opportunities with a special focus on disability issues:

  1. MIUSA – Programs and eligibility requirements vary. Some programs may be invitation only or limited to people from specific countries or fields.
  2. Nippon Foundation Scholarships at Gallaudet University – Open to Deaf and hard of hearing international students.
  3. Institute on Disability and Public Policy Master’s program – Preference given to students with disabilities who are from ASEAN countries.


Related Links:

Related Documents:

Related Resources

Tip Sheet

Personal Stories

Best Practices

Books and Journals


Videos and Webinars

Sign up for our E-News

Advancing disability rights and leadership globally®

Also Search our NCDE Web Resource Library

Contact Us