CIEE Civic Leadership Summit

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If one person can make a difference, then together we can change the world. It is this idea around which the CIEE Civic Leadership Summit is built. Young people from around the world gather every year in Washington, D.C. – the capital of the U.S., and one of our most important and historical cities – to learn how to make their communities, countries, and regions better places to live and work. Apply today for your chance to join us for this remarkable and free event.


All applications for the 2019 CIEE Civic Leadership Summit must be received by May 13.

As a CIEE Civic Leadership Summit Fellow, you will:

  • Take part in engaging workshops

  • Explore Washington, D.C.

  • Network with change-makers from around the world


The best part?

All expenses – including travel! – are paid for by CIEE. This event is completely free for all fellows.


The Civic Leadership Experience


How To Apply

In addition to the online application form, please submit a 300-500 word essay or a 1-2 minute video on the topic below. We recommend that you draft your essay as a separate document, then paste it into the application when you’re ready. You won’t be able to save your application and return to it once you’ve begun the process. Please note that CIEE will accept only one entry per participant


The goal of CIEE Work & Travel USA is to increase mutual understanding between Americans and citizens of other countries. At the CIEE Civic Leadership Summit, you will join young leaders from around the world to learn about leadership, social entrepreneurship, and cultural understanding. In your essay or video, please address the following:

  1. Share a story about a person or an experience that inspired you to take action.
  2. Looking forward to your time in the United States, describe how you think this exchange program will impact your life and how it will help you to make a difference in your community when you return home.


All applications for the 2019 CIEE Civic Leadership Summit must be received by May 13.

Get started!


Applicants must be participants of the summer 2019 CIEE Work & Travel USA program. CIEE cannot accept applications from anyone who has attended the Civic Leadership Summit in previous years.

CIEE will award fellowships to participants to attend the CIEE Civic Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., August 5-8. Fellowship grants include the cost of travel to and from Washington, D.C., accommodations, meals, and activities during the Summit.

Applications are due May 13. Fellows will be announced on June 5.




The deadline for 2019 applications has passed.

Thank you to everyone who applied. All applicants will be notified by email on June 5, 2019.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you explain the selection process?

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All applications will be reviewed by a selection committee made up of CIEE employees from across the organization. Selected fellows will be notified by early June, and will have one week to confirm their participation in the program.

When answering the essay prompt, keep in mind that applications will be reviewed for:

  • Individuality – Show us what makes you a unique individual.
  • Social engagement – Tell us if you care deeply about or are actively involved in any social or political issues.
  • English proficiency – Make sure your application is clear and engaging. We want to feel confident you can communicate your ideas in conversation with your peers.

What will I learn during the workshops?

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Learn about communicating across cultures, civics, and social entrepreneurship with a series of dynamic workshops. Share your world perspective, find your strengths, and discover how you can make a difference in your community and the world.

What People are Saying

  • "I am leaving DC with not only newly gained knowledge on American culture, politics and law but also with a broader, more open minded and greater understanding of other international cultures."

    Meg Kelly - Ireland
  • "This experience has helped me to actually believe I can be a changemaker who this world’s needs"

    Saray Quirant - Spain
  • "I feel very rich. Rich with knowledge for some countries that all I knew was their name, rich with new friends and rich with new contacts to develop projects with. You are all leaders and changemakers, and I can’t wait to see those changes take place!"

    Grese Koca - Kosovo
  • "During the summit I had the opportunity to meet 45 students, innovators, motivators and thinkers from all over the world. The same people all shared one common thing and that is they want to make the world a better place."

    Mahmoud Abdelkareem - West Bank
  • "This week has ignited something within me to make a change and difference, as well as travel to all these amazing countries and experience their cultures for myself."

    Amy Allen - United Kingdom