Youth Ambassadors Program

Country: Global    |   Duration: August 2013 to April 2020    |   Funder: US Dept. of State - Bureau of Educational and Cult    |   Contact: See open programs

Program Description

The Youth Ambassadors (YA) Program is a three-week exchange for high school youth (ages 15-18) and adult educators focused on civic education, community service, and youth leadership development. Subthemes include human rights, multiculturalism, social justice, and social transformation. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Participants engage in a variety of activities such as workshops on leadership and service, community site visits, interactive training, presentations, visits to high schools, local cultural activities, homestays, civic education programming in Washington, DC, or the capital city of the partner country, and more.

Youth Ambassadors programs commence in various locations across the United States, including San Francisco, CA; Washington, DC; Plattsburgh, NY; Lake Tahoe, NV; Charlottesville, VA (at the University of Virginia); or in Brattleboro, VT (at World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute Campus). Students then travel in smaller cohorts to host communities across the country. All inbound programs conclude in Washington, DC.

The U.S. Youth Ambassadors exchanges follow a similar program cycle, beginning with a pre-departure orientation in Washington, DC, or San Francisco, CA, followed by international travel to the exchange country. Single and multi-country exchanges take place in June and July; exact dates will vary by program. U.S. Youth Ambassadors Programs open for summer 2018 include Argentina & Chile, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Paraguay & Uruguay  

Follow-on activities with the participants are an integral part of the program, as the students apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired by carrying out social action plans in their home communities.

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Program application deadlines vary by country.

See open programs

Program Goals

(as defined by the U.S. Department of State)

  • To develop a cadre of young adults who have a strong sense of civic responsibility, a commitment to community development, an awareness of current & global issues, and strong interpersonal leadership skills;
  • To foster relationships among youth from different ethnic, religious, and national groups; and
  • To promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between the United States and our Western Hemisphere counterparts.


Youth Ambassadors Program: Brazil


The Youth Ambassadors Program offers both inbound exchanges to the U.S. for high school students from other countries and outbound exchanges abroad for U.S. high school students. Inbound programs are conducted in English unless otherwise noted. For outbound programs, teens and adult mentors are required to have an intermediate level of Spanish for all exchanges, except to Brazil.

Inbound U.S. Exchanges

Brazil - January

Canada - July/August

Haiti - July (French)

Venezuela - September (Spanish)

Argentina & Chile - March/April

Bolivia & Peru - October/November

Ecuador & Colombia - August/September

Paraguay & Uruguay - January/February

Belize, El Salvador, & Honduras - March

Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, & Panama - January & May (Spanish)

Caribbean: Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, & St. Vincent & the Grenadines - August


Outbound Exchanges

Brazil - June

Dominican Republic - July

Ecuador - June/July

Argentina & Chile - June

Paraguay & Uruguay - June/July


Youth Ambassadors Program: Caribbean


Examples of Youth Ambassador Alumni Projects

  • Increasing Community Awareness for Mental Health Foundation: Fundraising through donations via monthly electric bills. Oberá, Misiones, Argentina
  • Recycle for Art: Collecting recycled goods to create home décor, Para, Brazil
  • Eating Healthy: Healthy eating education training for children via games and multimedia tools, El Alto, Bolivia


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