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The U.S. Mission to Vietnam is seeking candidates for the Spring 2024 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Academic Fellowship on critical themes identified by youth in the region:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Environmental Issues
  • Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development


YSEALI is the U.S. government’s signature public diplomacy program to provide skills training in the United States to youth in Southeast Asia.  YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture a community of leaders who work across borders to solve shared issues.


Vietnamese citizens between the ages of 18 and 25, full-time undergraduate students or those who have graduated from college, demonstrate strong leadership qualities , have an interest in community service and volunteerism, and proficiency in English are invited to apply for the program.  The application deadline is 11:59 p.m., Sunday, October 29, 2023.


The YSEALI Academic Fellowship is an intensive short-term academic program whose purpose is to provide groups of young leaders with a deeper understanding of the United States and a particular theme, while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills.  The five-week programs will consist of a balanced series of seminar discussions, readings, group presentations, and lectures.  The coursework and classroom activities will be complemented by educational travel, site visits, leadership activities, and volunteer opportunities within the local community.  During the academic residency, participants will also have opportunities to engage in educational and cultural activities outside of the classroom.  If conditions allow, the Fellowship will include an educational study tour to other areas of the United States where they will meet with local, state, private, and nonprofit organizations working in the field.


The in-person program in the United States will take into consideration all necessary safety guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state, local, and campus authorities.


Should health, safety, and travel conditions continue to pose significant challenges, the program will pivot to a modified virtual format, and the Fellows will engage in similar activities but online from their home countries.


Applications are being accepted for the following three YSEALI Academic Fellowship Programs:

  • The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Civic Engagement will provide Fellows with an overview of how citizens have shaped U.S. history, government, and society both as individuals and groups.  The Fellowship will define civic engagement, examine its development in the United States, and explore topics such as active citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, and volunteerism.  Other topics such as civil rights, social justice, entrepreneurship, ethics, leadership, and media will be discussed.  Fellows will also meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of non-profit organizations.  Throughout the Fellowship participants will develop innovative and practical plans to become engaged citizens in their own communities.  The University of Nebraska – Omaha and Arizona State University will each conduct and host the Fellowship. The Fellowship on Civic Engagement will be from April 20 to May 22, 2024.
  • The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Environmental Issues will explore the role that environmental policy has played in the economic and political development of the United States.  The Fellowship will use experiential learning techniques to expose participants to current themes in the field, including climate change, sustainable development/sustainable agricultural practices, food security, ecotourism, renewable energy generation, and water management and treatment.  Fellows will explore the issues from numerous angles: local grassroots activism and civic initiatives, impacts on marginalized communities, private sector approaches, global multilateral efforts, and federal government policies and regulation.  Finally, the Fellowship will explore environmental issues in the context of a globalized society and draw comparisons between the United States and the participants’ home countries.  Fellows will also meet with community leaders, and representatives of non-profit organizations.  The University of Montana and the East-West Center will each conduct and host the Fellowship. The Fellowship on Environmental Issues will be from April 17 to May 22, 2024.
  • The YSEALI Academic Fellowship on Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will provide Fellows with an overview of entrepreneurial approaches that are employed to address social and economic issues.  The Fellowship will review the development, history, challenges, and successes of enterprises and community leaders, in the United States and globally.  Topics include, but are not limited to, trade; investment; financial literacy; banking; microfinance; organizational development and management; grant writing; innovation; emerging markets and risk analysis; strategic business planning; corporate social responsibility; and women and minorities in entrepreneurship.  Students will also meet with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and representatives of nonprofit organizations.  The University of Connecticut and the University of Texas-Austin will each conduct and host the Fellowship. The Fellowship on Social Entrepreneurship and Economic Development will be from April 14 to May 18, 2024.

All participant costs, including program administration, international and domestic travel, ground transportation, books, cultural activity fees, mailing and incidental costs as well as housing and subsistence expenses will be funded by the U.S. Department of State.



  • Be a YSEALI member. Join YSEALI at https://asean.usmission.gov/young-southeast-asian-leaders-initiative/;
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 25 at the time of application;
  • Be a Vietnamese citizen;
  • Be a resident of one of the following countries: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, or Vietnam;
  • Be a full-time undergraduate student or have graduated in the past four years from college, university, or other institutions of higher learning;
  • Be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and potential in their university, place of work, and/or community;
  • Demonstrate interest, knowledge, or professional experience in civic engagement, environmental issues or social entrepreneurship and economic development;
  • Demonstrate a commitment or interest in community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
  • Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States and ASEAN as a region;
  • Be willing to actively participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and study tour;
  • Have a commitment to return to their home country to apply leadership skills and training to benefit their community, country, or the ASEAN region; and
  • Have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States.




Submission Requirements

Step 1: Complete application package includes:

  1. Complete application form https://shorturl.at/hlrI1;
  2. Official transcripts for years of university study, and a university degree if you already graduated;
  3. A letter of recommendation from a teacher/professor (for undergraduate students); or from a current supervisor (for those in the workforce).

Step 2: Combine these three documents into one PDF file

Step 3: Submit it online:

Eligible candidates from Quang Tri province to northern Vietnam are requested to submit their complete application package online https://tinyurl.com/YsealiAcademicHanoi, and send any questions to:

Public Affairs Section

United States Embassy

YSEALI Academic Fellowship

7 Lang Ha Street

Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

Tel: 84-24-3850 5000, ext. 6150

Email: PhamPM@state.gov


Eligible candidates from Thua Thien-Hue province to southern Vietnam are requested to submit their complete application package online at https://tinyurl.com/YsealiAcademicHCMC, and send any questions to:


Public Affairs Section

United States Consulate General

YSEALI Academic Fellowship

4 Le Duan Street, District 1

Ho Chi Minh City

Tel: 84-28-3520-4657

Email: LeMuonTK@state.gov


Application Deadline

The application deadline is 11:59p.m., Sunday, October 29, 2023.  Late applications will not be accepted.