Launched in 2013, the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) is the US government’s signature program to strengthen leadership development and networking in Southeast Asia. Through a variety of programs and engagements, including US educational and cultural exchanges, regional exchanges, and seed funding, YSEALI seeks to build the leadership capabilities of youth in the region, strengthen ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, and nurture an ASEAN community.
Approximately 65% of people in the ASEAN region are under the age of 35. YSEALI is an effort to harness the extraordinary potential of youth in the region to address critical challenges and expand opportunities.
YSEALI focuses on critical topics identified by youth in the region such as civic engagement, sustainable development, education and economic growth. Young people in Southeast Asia are working to make tomorrow a brighter day, and the United States is here to help.
The YSEALI community consists of bright young leaders, 18 to 35 years old, from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam who are making a difference in their communities, countries, and the region.
The YSEALI programs include Professional Fellowships to the United States, Academic Fellowships to the United States, Regional Workshops and Grant Funding. The organization builds the leadership capabilities of the youth in the region and promotes cross border cooperation to solve regional and global challenges.
These online courses provide access to tailormade training videos on leadership, business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management featuring US university professors and experts in their field.
These courses are available to take at any time individually or as part of a group. All courses are available in English.
YSEALI Seeds for the Future
The YSEALI Seeds for the Future grants help young leaders carry out projects throughout Southeast Asia.
Further reading, https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/
YSEALI Academic Fellows
The YSEALI Academic Fellows Program brings undergraduates or recently graduated students between the ages of 18 and 25 to the United States for a five-week institute held on the campus of a U.S. college or university. Academic institutes cover the following YSEALI themes:
- Civic engagement
- Environment and natural resources management
- Entrepreneurship and economic development
These five week institutes, held on the campus of a U.S. university or college, will include an academic residency, leadership development, an educational study tour, local community service activities, and opportunities to engage with American peers.
The program will conclude in Washington, DC, to allow for engagement with policymakers, governmental representatives, businesses, and think tanks.
- Between the ages of 18 and 25 at the time of application, although exceptional applicants over 25 can be considered if they meet all other eligibility requirements;
- A citizen of one of the following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam;
- A resident of one of the following countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam;
- A full-time undergraduate or graduate student; recent graduate of college, university, or other institutions of higher learning; or young professional who has recently joined the workforce;
- Proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English; and
- Eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa.
Further reading, https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/yseali-academic-fellows/
- Demonstrate strong leadership qualities and track record in their university, place of work, and/or community;
- Demonstrate knowledge, or professional experience in one of the YSEALI themes: civic engagement, environment and natural resources management, or entrepreneurship and economic development;
- Demonstrate a commitment to community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
- Indicate a serious interest in learning about the United States, ASEAN, and Southeast Asia as a region;
- Be willing to actively participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and study tour;
- Have a commitment to return to their home country to apply leadership skills and training to benefit their community, country, or the region; and
- Preferably have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States.
How to apply?
Participants are selected by their local embassies. For details, visit country-specific application and recruitment information.
Citizens and Permanent Residents of the Philippines aged 18 to 25 are invited to apply to the Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Academic Fellows program.
Further reading, https://asean.usmission.gov/yseali/yseali-country-specific-information/
Submit your application to
For more information and to apply, visit U.S. Embassy Philippines website or YSEALI Philippines Facebook. Contact the US embassy for more information email@example.com
US Mission to ASEAN
Jl Medan Merdeka Selatan No. 3-5
Jakarta 10110, Indonesia
Telephone: + 62 21 5083 1000