The 2020 YEAR student application is closed.

The YEAR program is a non-degree program that brings outstanding Russian undergraduate students to study for one academic year at an American university of community college. 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 of 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.  

Candidates must be graduates of a high school as of July 2020 and currently enrolled in a Russian 4 or 5 year university program. To be eligible, candidates must be undergraduate students enrolled in the first two years of a 4-year program or first three years of a 5-year program in Russia. Participants must have at least one academic year to complete at their home university in Russia after completion of the YEAR program. The YEAR program cannot be the final year of students’ undergraduate study.

In order to be eligible to participate in the program, students must be:

  • a citizen of the Russian Federation. 
  • born between August 5, 1999, and July 25, 2002. The age-range for persons with disabilities is August 5, 1998 and July 25, 2002.
  • a graduate of high school by July 2020 and enrolled in the first two years of a 4-year program or first three years of a 5-year program in Russia. 
  • 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 2020.  

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 2021.
  • 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

  • online applications submitted by December 29, 2019.
  • virtual interviews with semi-finalists conducted between January – February 2020.
  • English language test (TOEFL) conducted for finalists and alternate candidates.
  • finalists selected by June 2020.

Application Package

Applications should include:

  • copy of academic transcripts in Russian. First-year undergraduate students can also submit high school certificates and transcripts.
  • translated copies of the university transcripts in English.
  • essay describing your interest in the YEAR program. 
  • one letter of recommendation in English.
  • copy of the internationally recognized passport information page.

We recommend using Google Chrome when completing the online application.

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