Educational & Professional Exchanges

About the Programs

The Public Affairs Section promotes bilateral understanding between Sierra Leone and the United States via a variety of educational and professional exchanges. Below is a summary of U.S. government sponsored exchange programs that Sierra Leonean students and professionals can apply for to experience the United States. Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook for announcements on when and how to submit your application.

Secondary/High School Students

Pan-Africa Youth Leadership Program (application period typically December-January) 

Students from various countries study topics that include civic education, leadership development, and community service. Upon their return home, the students apply what they have learned to implement projects that serve needs in their communities.

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) (application period typically October-November)

The YES program allows high school students to spend up to one U.S. academic year studying at an American High School.

University Students, Scholars and Researchers

Fulbright Foreign Student Program (application period typically October  – November ) 

The Fulbright Foreign Student Program enables graduate students, young professionals, and artists from abroad to research and study in the United States for one year or longer at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions. Read more about the program, including eligibility criteria, here:

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program (application period typically October – November 

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program provides 10 months of professional enrichment and non-degree graduate-level study in the United States for accomplished mid-level professionals from designated countries. Read more about the program, including eligibility criteria, here:


 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (application period typically August-September)

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the new flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). This program brings 500 young leaders to the United States each year for academic coursework and leadership training with the goal of creating unique opportunities in Africa for Fellows to put new skills to practical use in leading organizations, communities, and countries. http://exchanges.state.:

TechWomen (application period typically December-January)

TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program. TechWomen provides participants access to networks, resources, and knowledge to empower them to reach their full potential.

Community Solutions (application period typically October – November)

The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a professional development program for the best and brightest global community leaders working on issues related to the environment, tolerance and conflict resolution, transparency and accountability, and women and gender. Community Solutions is a year-long program that includes a four-month fellowship at a U.S. community-based organization, government office or legislative body.

Follow us on Facebook at for announcements on application updates.