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U.S. – Kenya Exchange Programs
November 8, 2022

U.S. Embassy Nairobi fosters mutual understanding between Americans and Kenyans through a multitude of academic and professional exchange programs.  These highly competitive programs aim to identify current and future leaders who will go to the United States or come to Kenya with an open mind and commit to returning to their host country to share what they have learned with their fellow citizens.  These exchange programs are open to a variety of profiles including students, researchers, academics, business people, civil society activists and professionals.

Academic Exchange Programs

For information on studying in the United States or competing for an academic exchange program, please visit EducationUSA and Study in the U.S.A.

Professional Exchange Programs

The Fulbright Program

Kenya is one of the more than 160 countries worldwide that partner with the United States government through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on the Fulbright program which offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished students, scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects.  https://eca.state.gov/fulbright.

Different countries have different grants and in Kenya there are four grants:

  • For Students
  • For Scholars
  • For Teachers and
  • For Professionals

The 2024 recruitment cycle for the Fulbright Foreign Student Program begins February 27th, 2023 and closes April 27th, 2023.

Applications due by 23:59 EST on April 27th, 2023.

Please click here https://apply.iie.org/ffsp2024/ to apply.


The 2024 recruitment cycle for the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program begins February 27th, 2023 and closes April 27th, 2023.

Applications are due by 23:59 EST on April 27th, 2023.

Please click here https://apply.iie.org/flta2024 to apply.


The 2024 recruitment cycle for the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program begins February 27th, 2023 and closes April 27th, 2023.

Applications are due by 23:59 EST on April 27th, 2023.

Please click here https://apply.iie.org/fvsp2024 to apply.


YES Program

High school students from countries with significant Muslim populations live and study for an academic year in the United States through the U.S. Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program.  YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities.  Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture.

The program officially launched in Kenya in 2008 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and Kenya in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then, over 220 Kenyan students have completed the YES program and now participate as alumni.

The YES program is administered in partnership with the U.S. Department of State by a consortium of non-profit organizations led by American Councils for International Education. In Kenya, AFS Kenya – Organization For Intercultural Education manages the YES program in partnership with the local U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office.

Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership

FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit and the U.S. State Department established the Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership in May, 2006. This public-private partnership places talented, emerging women leaders from all over the world in mentoring programs with FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women Leaders.

The three-phase program opens with an orientation session in Washington, D.C., where the participants meet with senior women in government, academia and business. The international participants are then paired with one of FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women Leaders from companies like Time Inc., Avon, Wal-Mart, and Exxon Mobil in cities across the United States. For three weeks, American and international participants work together in mentoring relationships to share the skills and experiences necessary for strengthening women’s leadership. The program concludes in New York City, where the participants have meetings with Goldman Sachs and Solera Capital.  Mentees are nominated by the U.S. Embassy in their home country.  For additional details about the program, visit the Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership site.  For more information, please contact KenyaExchanges@state.gov.

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program brings accomplished professionals to the United States at a midpoint in their careers for a year of study and related professional experiences. The program provides a basis for establishing long-lasting productive partnerships and relationships between citizens of the United States and their professional counterparts in other countries, fostering an exchange of knowledge and mutual understanding throughout the world.  Fellowships are granted competitively to professional candidates with a commitment to public service in both the public and private sectors.  For more information visit the Institute of International Education site. If you would like to apply for this program, please forward your CV covering your education, work, and leadership experience as well as any community involvement you have had to KenyaExchanges@state.gov. 

International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

The International Visitor Leadership Program brings participants to the United States from all over the world each year to meet and confer with their professional counterparts and to experience the United States firsthand. The visitors, who are current or potential leaders in government, politics, the media, education, and other fields, are selected by American officials overseas. More than 200 current and former heads of state, 1,500 cabinet-level ministers, and many other distinguished world leaders in government and the private sector have participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program.

The invitation to visit the United States under the auspices of the IVLP is extended by U.S. embassies. For this reason, individuals cannot apply to participate in the program.


TechWomen empowers the next generation of women leaders in the technology field by bringing together women in Northern California with their counterparts in the Middle East, Central Asia, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa for a professional mentorship and exchange program at leading technology companies.

The TechWomen initiative identifies emerging leaders with expertise in technology to attend a five-week program that includes project-based mentorships at leading companies in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. The women also attend workshops, networking events, a conference, and meetings in Washington, D.C.

Participants are women in professional careers that require significant knowledge of, and skill in technology. “Technology” should be interpreted broadly to include – but not be limited to – the fields of science, education, and business. Learn more on the TechWomen website, or please contact KenyaExchanges@state.gov.

Exchange Alumni

Over the years, U.S. Embassy Nairobi has sent thousands of Kenyans on U.S. government-funded exchange programs.  Alumni of these programs should register online at www.alumni.state.gov or contact Alumni Coordinator at USEmbassyNairobiKenyaAlumni@state.gov to join the Kenyan alumni family.

For information on exchange programs around the world visit the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.