TechWomen, an initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs whose mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and those of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange, has announced a call for applications for 2020.
TechWomen participants are selected based on the eligibility requirements as outlined below. Applications are reviewed by independent selection committees composed of industry leaders and regional experts. Semifinalists may be interviewed by US Embassy personnel in their country of permanent residence.
Below are the 2020 TechWomen eligibility requirements. Applicants must:
- Be women with, at minimum, two years full-time professional experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Please note that internships and other unpaid work experience does not count toward the two-year professional experience requirement.
- Have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree/four-year university degree or equivalent.
- Be proficient in written and spoken English.
- Be citizens and permanent residents of Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe at the time of application and while participating in the program.
- Be eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa.
- Not have applied for an immigrant visa to the United States (other than the Diversity Immigrant Visa, also known as the “visa lottery”) in the past five years.
- Not hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. legal permanent resident.
In addition to the above, preference will be given to applicants who:
- Demonstrate themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen professional track through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities and education.
- Are committed to return to their home countries to share what they have learned and mentor women and girls.
- Have limited or no prior experience in the US.
- Have a proven record of voluntary or public service in their communities.
- Have a demonstrated track record of entrepreneurialism and commitment to innovation.
- Demonstrate a willingness to participate in exchange programs, welcome opportunities for mentoring and new partnership development, and exhibit confidence and maturity.
TechWomen encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.
The 2020 TechWomen application will close on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Semifinalists will be contacted via email in/around April 2020. Final decisions will be made no later than May 31, 2020. All applicants will be notified of the results of their application.
In June 2011, TechWomen launched with 37 participants from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian Territories. In 2012, the program expanded to include women from Tunisia and Yemen. In 2013, the cohort doubled in size with the addition of women from Cameroon, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe. In 2015, expanded to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
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