Opportunity for civically minded youth 18-25!

BOLD (Balkanski omladinski lideri – Young Balkan Leaders) Civic Engagement Fellowship Program

Intensive summer exchange in the United States focused on civic engagement and followed by in-country project implementation

The call for Montenegro applications is OPEN until March 1, 2024. More information on the UNO’s website.

To apply go directly to:  https://unomaha.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6SdbaRBjeNqE5VQ


The Montenegro BOLD Civic Engagement Fellowship Program includes 1) a one-week pre-departure virtual component; 2) an intensive four-week academic residency at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO); 3) one week of educational study tours in South Dakota, New York, and Washington, D.C.; and 4) a five-month, in-country project with progress tracking and coaching to ensure the success and sustainability of the project.

Upon return to Montenegro, those fellows who successfully complete the exchange and have their follow-on projects approved will be provided with seed funds and mentorship support to assist them in implementing their follow-on projects in their local communities.

Eligibility criteria:

Participants must be:

  • Between ages 18-25 at the start of the program
  • Have a permanent residence in Montenegro
  • Be a current student or a recent university graduate
  • Have ideas for a civic engagement project in their community that can be implemented within five months after return from the United States
  • Be willing to become part of a larger BOLD network and cooperate with counterparts across Montenegro and the rest of the Balkans
  • Have little or no prior experience in the United States
  • Be present in Montenegro for follow-on project implementation from September 2024  through February 2025
  • Demonstrate English language ability

Individuals in the following circumstances are not eligible for the BOLD Program:

  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents of the United States;
  • Local employees of the U.S. missions abroad who work for the U.S. Department of State and/or the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); employees are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment;
  • Immediate family members (i.e. spouses and children) of U.S. Department of State and USAID employees; family members are also ineligible for one year following the termination of employment.

While applying, candidates will be required to:

  • Upload a passport/ID
  • Upload the last available transcript of grades (high school or university, does not need to be translated)
  • Upload one recommendation in English, preferably describing civic engagement activities.

(Note about recommendations: There is no mandatory template for the recommendation, but it should ideally focus on the candidate’s civic engagement experience and be written by a person who knows them well. It can be signed either electronically or manually and then scanned and uploaded to the application).

  • Be ready to clearly describe a project idea they intend to further develop during the program and implement within the five months upon return from the United States.

The application must be filled-in in one sitting, but you can review Montenegro Application PDF Version to see the required information so that you can prepare (Note: do not fill in the PDF file, you should apply via live link only: https://unomaha.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6SdbaRBjeNqE5VQ!).

In short – if you are a bold young person, 18-25 years of age, civically minded and active in your community, and would like to experience civic and university life in the United States and bring back the knowledge to your home country, then you are the perfect candidate for this program. Apply well before the deadline, March 1, 2024, to avoid any last minute technical difficulties.

For questions, you can write to Michael Butcher, UNO BOLD Grants Project Coordinator, at michaelbutcher@unomaha.edu or to the U.S. Embassy in Podgorica at PodgoricaExchanges@state.gov.