How to Apply

The YEAR Program Application Process

2018 Application is Currently Closed
The 2018 YEAR Online Participant Application Deadline is Past
Thank you for your interest in the YEAR Fellowship Program. The 2018 participant application for the YEAR Fellowship Program was available until 5:00 PM (EST) on November 16, 2017.

Competition for the YEAR Program is merit-based and open to anyone who meets the following requirements:

  • A citizen of the Russian Federation at the time of application and during the selection process,
  • Born between July 20, 1997 and July 1, 2000,
  • Graduated secondary school as of August 2018,
  • Proficient in spoken and written English at the time of application,
  • Able to demonstrate outstanding academic ability,
  • Able to convincingly demonstrate existing and durable ties to Russia and a firm commitment to return to Russia after the completion of the program,
  • Able to display the maturity required to succeed on a year-long international exchange program,
  • Able to begin the program in the United States in July of 2018,
  • Eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 Exchange Visitor non-immigrant category visa.

For participants with disabilities, the application age-range is expanded to include those born between July 20, 1996 and July 1, 2000.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents, students who have lived in the U.S. for more than three months in the last five years, U.S. Embassy employees and their immediate families, and persons arrested for or convicted of a crime are not eligible to apply for the YEAR Program.

The Year of Exchange in America for Russians program provides outstanding Russian students a unique opportunity to study for one year at U.S. institutions of higher education, to engage with local communities in sustained and meaningful dialogue, to educate Americans about Russia's history and culture, and to gain a new, nuanced understanding of American society. The program also aims to strengthen each participant's English skills and subject knowledge. Participants take undergraduate level courses in their major fields of study, American studies, and a wide range of electives that offer the opportunity to explore new disciplines. All fellows arrive in their host communities one month prior to the beginning of their academic year. During this period, they are placed with host families. At the end of their first month in the U.S., students move to on-campus residence halls. The YEAR Program is fully funded, covering tuition, housing, international travel, medical insurance, and other basic living expenses.

YEAR Fellows are required to return to Russia after their studies, and apply their skills to the development of the country.

YEAR carefully screens applicants to ensure they have a real, lasting commitment to Russia. As part of the fellowship agreement, YEAR requires its participants to return to Russia. Fellows receive a J-1 visa, under the terms of which they are required to return to their country for at least two years.