The application for the 2024-2025 cohort will open soon!

The YEAR program is a non-degree program that brings outstanding Russian undergraduate students to study for one academic year at American universities and community colleges. This is a fully funded fellowship that helps participants learn about the American educational system; explore American culture and values; and enhance academic knowledge, leadership, and English language skills. In addition to academic courses, participants will engage with local communities through various volunteering activities and share Russian culture and history with American people.

Program Eligibility

The YEAR program is open to students in any field of study and does not discriminate based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or disability. The program supports the participation of people with disabilities and will work with host institutions and families to provide an accessible learning and living environment. 

To be eligible to participate in the program, students must be:

  • a citizen of the Russian Federation
  • born between August 5, 2003, and July 25, 2006. The age-range for persons with disabilities is August 5, 2002 and July 25, 2006
  • must be undergraduate students currently enrolled in the first two years of a 4-year program or first three years of a 5-year program in Russia
  • must have at least one academic year to complete at their home university in Russia after completion of the YEAR program
  • eligible to receive an internationally recognized passport of the Russian Federation
  • able to clearly communicate in English
  • eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 student exchange visa
  • committed to returning to Russia after completion of the program
  • able to begin studies in the United States in August 2024

The following individuals are not eligible to apply for the program:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the U.S.
  • undergraduate students expected to complete their studies in Russia by June 2025
  • the YEAR program cannot be the final year of students’ undergraduate study
  • high school students not currently enrolled in a Russian university
  • students living for more than three months in the U.S. in the past five years
  • employees of the U.S. Embassy in Russia and their immediate family members
  • arrested for or convicted of a crime

Application Process

To apply students should:

  • create a profile on our platform
  • submit the online application by the deadline – TBA
  • shortlisted candidates take part in virtual interviews between January – February 2024
  • semifinalists take the English language test
  • finalists are selected by June 2024

Application Package

Applications should include:

  • resume in English. Please visit the FAQ section for more information about writing the resume
  • copy of academic transcripts in Russian. First-year undergraduate students can submit the high school certificate (аттестат с оценками). Second- and third-year students should submit university transcripts (справка об успеваемости)
  • translated copies of the academic transcripts in English. Translation of transcripts can be confirmed by a translation office or with a stamp of the university/faculty
  • 500-word essay describing your interest in the YEAR program; 250-word essay describing your volunteering interests
  • one letter of recommendation in English. The letter should be written by someone who is familiar with candidate’s academic and professional experience. If the letter is written in Russian, please include a translated copy in English
  • copy of the internationally recognized passport information page. Those who do not have an international passport will upload a copy of the internal passport

We recommend using Google Chrome when completing the online application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

For any additional questions about the application, please view our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us.