TechGirls program for the next generation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is an initiative of the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
TechGirls connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics by providing them access and opportunities to advance their skills and pursue their dreams.
Since 2012, TechGirls has trained and mentored 343 teenage girls (ages 15-17) from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen. In 2019, the program expanded to include young women from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan).
In 2022, the program will expand to support approximately 111 young women from 36 participating countries and 25 U.S. peers in a dynamic four-week U.S.- based experience with an 8-month mentoring program (including pre-and post-exchange).
The core of the program is a 27-day experience in the United States in partnership with Virginia Tech University (tentatively scheduled for July 2022). TechGirls participate in an interactive technology and computer camp, then travel to one of the following cities (Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Portland, or Seattle) for job shadowing at a tech company, and homestay and community service experiences. The TechGirls programming yields a multiplier effect as participants return home to educate their peers and create community-based projects.
TechGirls is packed with skill-development workshops and interactions with America’s most innovative tech professionals as well as 40 hours of study at a Tech Camp with our partner the Center for Enhancement in Engineering Diversity at Virginia Tech. The TechGirls program offers a rich cultural immersion experience, improves the participants’ ability to enter tech fields, and encourages them to pursue higher education in fields where women are underrepresented.
TechGirls will be competitively recruited and selected from the following regions/countries and territories:
- Sub-Saharan Africa (AF) – Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa.
- East Asia and Pacific (EAP) – Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Mongolia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
- Europe and Eurasia (EUR) – Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Turkey.
- Middle East and North Africa (NEA) – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia.
- South and Central Asia (SCA) – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- Western Hemisphere (WHA) – Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Suriname.
- The United States of America.
Students eligible to apply are those who:
- Are between the ages of 15 and 17 at the start of the exchange July 7th, 2022;
- Have demonstrated advanced skills and a serious interest in technology, engineering, and/or math in their academic studies;
- Intend to pursue higher education and/or careers in technology;
- Have strong English language skills;
- Exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness;
- Will attend at least one additional semester of secondary school upon their return to their home country; and
- Are committed to completing a community-based project upon their return home.
- Preference will be given to those who have limited or no prior experience in the United States. You are not eligible if you have traveled to the United States in the last three years as part of any other ECA exchange program.
Please note that family members of U.S. Embassy or Consulate staff. U.S. Department of State employees, family members of the administering organization, or partner organizations are not eligible to apply.
TechGirls encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.
- Visa Fee.
- Roundtrip international airfare from participant home country to the United States.
- Housing during the program.
- Double occupancy dormitory accommodations.
- Meals during the program.
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Local transportation to group program events.
- Cultural events organized by Legacy International.
- Emergency health insurance.
A safe environment:
At TechGirls, we encourage youth leadership and responsibility and create an environment of trust. We clearly explain the schedule and expect TechGirls to be on time and ready for each activity. The schedule created helps everyone gets the most out of the three-week intensive learning experience.
Supervision: TechGirls are supervised 24 hours a day. An environment is created to address problems and concerns swiftly. Staff assists youths with cultural adjustments, mentors, and counsel as needed. Staff are First Aid and CPR certified to speedily address any health care needs.
Respect for all Religions: The TechGirls staff make sure that the students wishing to practice specific religious observances are given the space and opportunity to do so. The daily schedule is structured to allow for the five daily prayers for Muslims. On Fridays, we allow time for a longer prayer time at mid-day or for attendance at a congregational Jummah prayer. For those who attend regular Sunday services, we make arrangements for you. Regarding dietary rules, we make sure to carefully show each participant what is halal at buffets and try to arrange meals at halal restaurants when possible.
The 2022 TechGirls application will open on November 16, 2021, at 12:00PM EST and close at 12:00PM EST on January 15, 2022. Semifinalists will be contacted via email on/around March 1 for the next stage of interviews. Final decisions will be made in early April. All applicants will be notified of the results of their application.
How to Apply?