Innovation for Community Action

Summer 2020  – United States & Saudi Arabia – Following successful 2014 – 2019 Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Programs (SYLEP), Legacy International is pleased to welcome a new delegation of Saudi young leaders to the U.S. from July 1 – 22, 2020.

2016 SYLEP participants, cultural ambassadors and staff enjoy the view at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

SYLEP 2020 is a multi-phased leadership experience for 43 Saudi university students or recently graduated students between the ages of 21-26 and 4 U.S. Cultural Ambassadors (rising undergraduate seniors, graduate students and recent graduates). SYLEP seeks to build leadership skills, civic responsibility, appreciation for cultural diversity, community engagement, and volunteerism within a theme of S.T.E.A.M. education. 

Through a series of site visits, trainings, expert sessions, volunteer opportunities, and participation events with agencies, organizations, and professionals working in this field, Legacy International will introduce participants to innovative local, state, federal, public, and private programs that promote S.T.E.A.M. education and strong communities. We aim to expose participants to individual, volunteer led initiatives as well as larger scale government and corporate solutions. In addition, Saudi participants will join in S.T.E.A.M. education activities side-by-side with U.S. community members. In this way, participants will not only learn about solutions but will get the opportunity for some hands-on experience during this U.S. exchange. Upon their return home, Saudi participants conduct follow-on projects in their home communities or university campuses, supported by Legacy International.

The goals of this program are to promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S and the people of Saudi Arabia, prepare young leaders to become responsible citizens and contributing members of their communities, and develop leadership skills among Saudi youth. They will observe how individuals, non-governmental organizations, and government entities address community needs through public, private, and joint initiatives.


2018 SYLEP participants and Cultural Ambassador in Austin, TX 

2020 celebrates 75 years of a strong partnership between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia based on mutual respect and common interests. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have a long history of technical and education exchange which has benefited both nations.Building on the long-standing themes of SYLEP – leadership, tolerance, diversity, and strengthening communities – the 2020 Saudi Young Leaders Exchange Program will focus on innovation and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education aimed towards community engagement and action that will allow for the upskilling of Saudi youth to improve social services across the Kingdom. The program will introduce and build upon their knowledge of technology and innovation as solutions to improve their communities.

Program Details

2017 SYLEP participants meet professionals in a wide variety of fields at a networking event.

2020 Partners

Ways to Participate:

  • U.S. university students who are currently enrolled in a college or university (upcoming senior undergrads, or graduate students) or recent graduates may apply as U.S. Cultural Ambassador.
  • U.S. families who live in one of the host communities may serve as home stay hosts for our Saudi guests (July 10-12;  2 nights)
  • Saudi university students, ages 21-26, who are citizens and currently residing and studying in Saudi Arabia are eligible. Students with significant prior U.S. experience (ex. study abroad), are U.S. citizens or hold U.S. Permanent Residency status are not eligible.  Applicants should possess sufficient English to participate in U.S. university-level classes.  Questions?  Email For more information, also visit Legacy’s Frequently Asked Questions.

Blog Posts

SYLEP is sponsored by the United States Department of State, U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, and administered by Legacy International.