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 trained and mentored 214 teenage girls (ages 15-17) from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen. In 2019, the program expanded to include 24 young women from Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) for a total of 238 teenage girls.
The core of the program is a three-week experience in the United States. TechGirls participate in an interactive technology and computer camp (with US Girls), join a tech company for a day of job shadowing, and participate in community service initiatives. The TechGirls programming yields a multiplier effect – as the benefits of the exchange accrue not only to the TechGirls themselves, but multiply out to the wider community.
TechGirls is packed with skill-development workshops and interactions with America’s most innovative tech professionals as well as 45 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 under-represented.
TechGirls is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. The program is administered by Legacy International.
The application for 2021 will open on November 15, 2020 and close January 15, 2021.
Legacy International is working closely with the U.S. Department of State, local and global health professionals to plan a program that adheres to the best public health practices. If the global health situation stabilizes and travel restrictions ease, we hope to conduct the program in person in summer 2021. We remain open to providing a high quality virtual exchange if necessary.
TechGirls participants are selected based on the eligibility requirements below. Independent selection committees composed of industry leaders and regional experts review applications. United States Embassy personnel in your country of permanent residence interview semifinalists.
If you are a U.S. applicant please see the U.S. Youth Ambassadors program page.
2021 Eligibility Requirements
Students eligible to apply are those who:
- Are from one of the following eligible countries:
- United States
- Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia;
- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan
- Are between the ages of 15 and 17 at the start of the exchange in July 2021;
- 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 travelled 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 or U.S. Department of State employees are not eligible to apply.
TechGirls encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.
The 2021 TechGirls application opens on November 15, 2020 and close at 12:00PM EST on January 15, 2021. 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.
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The TechGirls program covers the following costs:
- Visa Fee
- Roundtrip international airfare from participant home country to the United States
- Housing during program
- Double occupancy dormitory accommodations
- Meals during 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 get 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 assist youths with cultural adjustments, mentor and counsel as needed. Staff are First Aid and CPR certified to speedily address any health care needs.
Respect for all Religions: The staff of Legacy International makes 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.
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