Exchange Programs

The U.S. Mission to Sri Lanka & Maldives regularly conducts academic, educational, citizen, arts, and professional exchange programs.

The Community Solutions Program (CSP) is a year long professional leadership development program for people who are working to improve their communities by addressing issues related to the environment, peace and conflict resolution, governmental transparency and civic engagement, and gender equality. Community leaders will be selected to participate in a program that includes:

  • Four-month fellowship in the United States:Community Solutions fellows are matched with host organizations throughout the U.S. where they complete a four-month, hands-on professional experience (August – December 2022)
  • Community Leadership Institute:Community Solutions fellows participate in the Community Leadership Institute, a leadership training program designed to strengthen their leadership and management skills. The Institute includes face-to-face trainings, online courses, professional coaching, and networking
  • Community-based initiatives:While in the U.S. and with the support of their U.S. host organization, Community Solutions fellows design and plan a community development initiative or project to carry out after they return home. Once the fellows depart the United States, they put these projects into action in their home communities.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Community Solutions Program, applicants must meet the requirements listed below. Applications that do not meet these eligibility requirements will be disqualified and will not be reviewed by the selection committee.

  • You are between the ages of 25 and 38 as of January 1, 2022
  • Sri Lankan and Maldivian citizens living and working in your home country are eligible. A complete list of eligible countries is available on the application site
    • Individuals with refugee status working on behalf of their home community may be given special consideration
  • You have at least two years of experience working on community development, either as a full-time or part-time employee or volunteer
  • You are not currently participating in an academic, training, or research program in the U.S.
  • You have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written English at the time of application
    • Semifinalists will be required to take or submit recent scores for a TOEFL or IELTS English language test
  • You are available to travel to the U.S. for four months from August to December 2022
  • You are nota citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and have not applied for U.S. permanent residency within the past three years
  • You are eligible to receive a U.S. J-1 visa
    • Applicants who have participated in an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government must have fulfilled their two-year home residency requirement
  • You are committed to returning to your home country for a minimum of two years after completing the program and
  • You are not a current IREX employee or consultant, or their immediate family member

Application Instructions

The application period for the 2022-2023 Community Solutions Program is September 15 to October 27, 2021.

Detailed application instructions can be downloaded by the link below. Please review the full program requirements and eligibility details prior to starting an application to ensure that you are eligible. If, after reviewing the application instructions, you have additional questions, please e-mail cspapply@irex.org.

Application Resources