FLEX recruitment has ended and will resume in the fall of 2013 for the 2014-2015 school year.
Please register at http://www.americancouncils.am/register-to-learn-more-about-flex/ to be informed of the details.
Who is Eligible to Apply to the Program and Who is NOT Eligible?
The competition for the FLEX scholarship is merit-based and open at no cost to ALL applicants who meet the following requirements.
In order to apply for FLEX program in September 2013, eligible applicants for the 2014-2015 program year must:
- Be born between March 15, 1996 and July 15, 1999 AND
- Be currently enrolled in a secondary school in the 9th, 10th, 11th grades*
- Have an academic standing of “good” or better
- Have previously studied English and demonstrated English Language ability at the time of registration
- Meet U.S. visa eligibility requirements
- Be a citizen of Armenia and be able to receive a passport in Armenia
The age/grade eligibility requirements for students with DISABILITIES are the following:
- Students must be born between March 15, 1996 and July 15, 1999
- They must be studying in 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grades*
*Students who change their grade level to an ineligible grade before their departure to the United States will be disqualified.
Students are ineligible to apply if:
- They do not meet the above criteria
- They have stayed in the U.S. for three (3) months or more during the past five (5) years
- Their family has applied, is applying, or has made plans to emigrate to the United States.
Steps in Recruitment
Round 1: Pre-Test
Students meeting the age and grade criteria are invited to take a 16-question, multiple-choice.
English test. The major purpose of the pre-test is to eliminate students with only a very limited knowledge of English. There are ten versions of the pre-test to discourage cheating.
Round 2: Pre-TOEFL/SLEP and Essay Test
Eligible students deciding to continue with the application process are invited to take the Pre- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the Secondary Level English Proficiency (SLEP) test. Students are also asked to write three in-class essays (in English) in response to specific questions. Questions are designed to elicit factors that indicate the student’s maturity and suitability for international exchange. Essay questions focus on actual situations that students may confront, rather than abstract situations that may be more difficult to address.
There are five sets of essay questions so students cannot share essay questions with their friends who may take the test at another test site in the future or at another session. All testing is proctored by program staff and alumni.
After all tests and essays are completed, they are sent to the Moscow data hub to be assessed and graded. First the Round 2 English tests are graded, and then the essays of students with adequate language proficiency are evaluated. Field screening committees at the data hub are specially trained to assess essays on the basis of ten factors considered critical for exchange experience success. Processing information and conducting the preliminary evaluation in a centralized location, rather than in the field, is important for the integrity of the competition and relieves the pressure often placed on the program staff by parents, local ministries, or others to include candidates who might not be qualified.
Round 3: Applications and Interviews
Students with the best assessments pass to the next level of the competition. They are asked to submit complete applications and are interviewed. Less than 15% of the original applicant pool is invited to complete applications. One U.S. and one Eurasian employee return to the test site to conduct 20-minute interviews with students who have been invited to complete applications. Interviews take place in both English and the student’s native language to enable interviewers to assess English language skills as well as to give students the best opportunity to present themselves.
In addition to the one-on-one interview, all applicants participate in group interviews (referred to as “games”). These are conducted in Russian or the local language and led by Eurasian staff members while U.S. staff observes. Four to seven students take part in each “game.” These provide an opportunity to observe the students in a less formal setting and to see how they interact with their peers. On the day of the interview, staff explains the application form in detail so students will understand how to complete it. Students have two weeks to complete the application and return it to an American Councils office. Applications are checked in the field offices for completeness and forwarded to the Moscow data hub. In Moscow, computer data files are updated for each student, and the original Pre-TOEFL or SLEP answer sheet and essay questions are attached to the application form. The complete application and computer data files are then forwarded to the American Councils headquarters office in Washington, DC for further processing and selection.
To be announced.
All the applicants MUST submit the following for registration:
- Birth certificate or passport (original)
- 1 photo /size 3×4/
Regions Where Recruitment is Carried Out
Recruitment for the 2014-2015 program year will take place in:
- Yerevan (applicants from nearby regions are tested in Yerevan)
- Shirak – Gyumri
- Aragatsotn – Talin
- Lori – Vanadzor
- Tavush – Ijevan
- Syunik – Sisian, Goris, Kapan
- Kotayk – Hrazdan
- Gegharkunik – Martuni
- Vayots Dzor – Yeghegnadzor
American Councils organizes and trains approximately 150 volunteer evaluators- professionals in education and international relations in the United States who meet daily for about three months to carefully review the applications and attached data. They select program finalists and alternates.
Selection is based on merit as evidenced in a comprehensive application; teacher reference; and demonstrated preparedness for a year-long exchange experience. Students are also required to provide medical evaluations and be certified as medically fit to participate in the program. The selection process is completed in spring and all applicants receive notification of their status by mid-April. English-language proficiency is important but it is not the sole element in selection. Names of all finalists are randomly distributed to placement organizations by mainframe computer.