The application for the 2024-2025 cohort is closed.

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
  • arrested for or convicted of a crime

Application Process

To apply students should:

  • create a profile on our platform
  • submit the online application by Saturday, January 6, 2024, 23:59 Moscow Time.
  • shortlisted candidates take part in virtual interviews in February 2024
  • semifinalists take the English language test in March 2024.
  • 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). Due to winter holidays in Russia, applicants may send the transcripts by January 12, 2024, at [email protected], after submitting the online application. In this case, applicants may attach a Word document in the Transcript section indicating that the transcript will be emailed a week later.
  • 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
  • copy of the internationally recognized passport information page. Those who do not have an international passport can upload a copy of the internal passport.

The letter of recommendation is not required for the application. The presence or the lack of the recommendation letter will not impact the application review and its status.

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.