Apply to the Program

Participants at a high school collaborate on artworkAll participants must agree to ACTIVELY participate in all three phases of the program, which means a full year commitment. We understand that students and educators have many responsibilities, and we expect being a part of this program will challenge participants to further develop their time management skills. However, the rewards are vast. You will get the chance to learn about Singapore and Malaysia, you will be trained to teach others about sustainable development, you will get to meet and work with students and educators from around the United States – and the world – and you will learn from professionals in developmental and international relations in both countries. It is a life-changing program.

If selected, you must agree to participate in the virtual exercises (February – June 2014), attend the pre-departure orientation and the program in Singapore and Malaysia (June 289 – July 24, 2014), and you must agree to develop and implement a post program project in your school and community that showcases what you learned on this program.

Participants in Singapore

Student applicants:
  • Must be between the ages of 15 to 17 years of age by the start of the exchange (June 28, 2014) AND have at least one semester of high school left to complete after the exchange program ends.
  • Must be able to demonstrate an interest in either Singapore or Malaysia or in sustainable development.
  • Must be able to provide examples of your commitment to service in the broader community.

Adult applicants:

  • Must serve as teachers, trainers, school administrators or community leaders who work with youth directly and be willing to be active participants on this program who also agree to assist in chaperoning students while on the program.
  • Must be able to demonstrate an interest in either Singapore or Malaysia or in sustainable development, and must be able to provide examples of how you apply this interest in the classroom or to help students
  • Must be able to provide examples of your commitment to service in the broader community.

All participants must be U.S. citizens and not had prior travel experience to Singapore or Malaysia.

Please read the following application instruction carefully before you proceed to the online application via the link below.

Note: There is no charge to apply and this opportunity is open to all students that meet the eligibility requirements listed. Upon acceptance into this program (January 2014), there will be a $200 deposit to secure participant placement in the program. However, $100 of the deposit will be refunded to the participant upon the successful completion of the program and submission of the post program evaluation form in August 2014.

The application deadline is Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 11:59 EST

The following documentation will be needed to complete the application. You will be required to upload the following documents in order to submit a complete application. It may take time to gather these materials so please start this process as early as possible:

  • STATEMENT OF MOTIVATION: Explain why you want to pursue this opportunity, explaining your interest in sustainable development, science, or international cultural (particularly Singapore and Malaysia), and ways to make sure other students or educators can gain knowledge from your experience.

  • RESUME: The AYLP: Singapore/Malaysia program is a professional opportunity for students and educators. Participation in the program will influence post-high school education and career decisions and we want participants to be ready to communicate the experience to others as soon as they return. If this is your first resume you should include your after-school jobs or summer jobs, sports, clubs, volunteer projects, overseas travel, interesting/pertinent school projects, and hobbies. Please put this information into a standard resume format, many examples of which can be found online.

  • POST PROGRAM PROJECT OUTLINE: (1 page maximum, 200 word minimum) Describe a project you hope to implement in your school or community as a result of your participant in the AYLP: Singapore and Malaysia program (this can be either about Singapore/Malaysia or sustainable development, or both!).

  • LETTERS OF SUPPORT (2): You must attach two support letters. The first letter must be from the school principal or headmaster which demonstrates support for your application and suggests ways in which what you learn in the program can be shared with the school community. The second letter must be from a teacher (or fellow educator or adult participant) which describe their impression of your interest in international affairs (especially regarding Singapore or Malaysia) or issues and topics in sustainable development or science.

  • PARENTAL CONSENT FORM: (Student Participants only) Your parent or legal guardian must fill out, initial, and sign a consent from in order to be considered for this program. Click here to download the Parental Consent Form in either PDF or PDF format.

  • PASSPORT: A copy of the bio page must be uploaded. Applicants who do not have a passport valid through at least March 1, 2014 will be considered. However, if selected, all applicants must IMMEDIATELY provide a copy of their U.S. Passport, or have proof that s/he has applied for a U.S. passport. If you don’t have a passport, please visit: click here

    • Passport Deadline: If you do not have a valid passport at the time of application, you must provide Cultural Vistas a copy of the bio page no later than May 1, 2014. It is important to apply for your passport as soon as possible once you are accepted into the program as it can take time to go through the application process regardless of posted wait times on the aforementioned website.

Finalists will be interviewed by telephone. Because of the volume of application and limited number of spaces, the acceptance process can take some time. Please be patient you will be notified by Cultural Vistas after your application has been assessed.

All applications must be submitted electronically, click here to begin your application.

Participants in a boatThe program is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The goal of this American Youth Leadership program is to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries, and to develop a corps of Americans with cultural understanding that helps advance international dialogue and compete effectively in the global economy.

The support provided by the U.S. Department of State will cover:

  • Cost of travel to the pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C, (June 28, 2014); lodging, meals, local transportation, and program activities during the pre-departure orientation
  • International round-trip air travel to Singaporeand Malaysia (July 1 – July 24, 2014)
  • Accident and sickness protection
  • Lodging in Singapore and Malaysia; in-country transportation, most meals, all program activities

Cultural Vistas estimates that participants should be prepared to bring$200-$400 for incidental items, souvenirs and some meals/snacks. Participants are not compensated for the time spent in the program, or during the virtual activities.

All travel and lodging arrangements will be made by Cultural Vistas, and all members of the group will travel together.

Participants in front of Singapore's Petronas TowersWhy should you encourage your teenager to apply to participate in the program?

Cultural Vistas has been involved in the international exchange of students, teachers and professionals for 60 years. Our vision is that people from different cultures need to experience what it is like to live and work in another culture in order to better prepare themselves for a career in an increasingly interdependent world. We need to develop an understanding of global issues from the perspective of people beyond our borders. This program allows your teenager a chance to begin to develop that global perspective.

Specifically, it provides them a unique chance to:

  • learn about the cultures of Malaysia and Singapore
  • develop a better understanding of environmental issues through the study of sustainable development practices
  • network with peers from around the country and in Singapore and Malaysia
  • network with international affairs and environmental professionals from the U.S. and Singapore and Malaysia
  • develop project management skills by organizing post-program activities which will be implemented in their school or local community
  • develop communication and presentation skills working in groups and working with the partner organizations to explain what they learned in the program

A total of 22 students will be selected to participate in the program. Two adult educators will also be selected to participate with part of their responsibilities including to chaperone the students.

Cultural Vistas has selected three professionals to act as a "teacher support corps." These adults will take the lead in designing the curriculum for the program, and will be involved in the pre-departure orientation. A Cultural Vistas staff member will be with the participants during the orientation and will accompany the group to Singapore and Malaysia.

Your teenager will have to travel to the orientation city to participate in the pre-departure orientation. They will be met at the airport or train station and will be escorted to the site of the orientation (you will be notified upon their safe arrival). We will travel to Malaysia as a group (22 students, 2 educators, 1 Cultural Vistas staff, 2 "Teacher Support Corps") on an American-flag carrier, and we will be met in Kuala Lumpur and escorted during our entire stay in both countries. We will also explore local towns and meet with local university and high school students.

The group will return to the United States together, and they will be assisted in traveling home from the departure city.

Please also note that staff at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are involved in program planning, and will be kept well aware of the movement of the group.

For more information, please contact Dan Strobel at or at 443-539-0539