A New Generation of FLEX Arrives in the United States

Aleksandr Kim, a participant in the Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX), is pictured with his mother, Olga Pak, in Kyrgyzstan before travelling to the United States in January 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Amy Schulz serves as a Program Officer in the Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Future Leaders Exchange Program (FLEX) began 20 years ago as a way to introduce high-school students from Eurasia to American society and in turn, expose U.S. citizens to the culture, traditions, and lifestyles of the people of Eurasia. As a sign of its success, FLEX continues to impact a new generation. Olga Pak, participated in the very first cohort of students in the FLEX program in 1993-1994 and spent her exchange year in California. Aleksandr Kim, her son, is the first second-generation FLEX Program participant.

Aleksandr says his mother’s positive exchange experience inspired him to pursue a FLEX scholarship. “My mother was telling me stories about her exchange year since I was 11 years old. She encouraged me to come to the United… more »

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