TechGirls is an international exchange program designed to empower and support young women (ages 15-17) from the United States and select countries around the world to pursue higher education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields through hands-on skills development training.
The TechGirls program covers the following costs:
- Visa fee for international participants
- Roundtrip international airfare from the participant’s home country to the United States
- Roundtrip domestic airfare from the participant’s home city (as applicable)
- Housing during program
-Double occupancy dormitory accommodations at Virginia Tech
-Double occupancy accommodations at a hotel in Washington, D.C.
- 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 the 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 TechGirls staff make 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 with halal options when possible.
Eligibility and Application
The 2024 application is open and will close on December 8, 2023, at 12:00 PM (noon) ET.
All TechGirls participants are selected based on the eligibility requirements below. Independent selection committees composed of industry leaders and regional experts review applications.
- For international semi-finalists, U.S. embassy personnel in the host country/territory of permanent residence conduct interviews.
- For U.S. semi-finalists, Legacy International conducts interviews.
2024 Eligibility Requirements
Students eligible to apply are those who:
Are citizens of one of the eligible countries/territories AND living in that country/territory at the time of exchange:
- Sub-Saharan Africa (AF) – Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Zambia
- East Asia and Pacific (EAP) – Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Mongolia, Taiwan, and Vietnam
- Europe and Eurasia (EUR) – Albania, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Türkiye
- Middle East and North Africa (NEA) – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia
- South and Central Asia (SCA) – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan
- Western Hemisphere (WHA) – Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Suriname
- United States of America
- Are between the ages of 15 and 17 at the start of the exchange on July 13, 2024
-Born on or between July 13, 2006 and July 13, 2009;
- Have demonstrated advanced skills and a serious interest in science, technology, engineering, and/or math in their academic studies;
- Intend to pursue higher education and/or careers in STEM, especially technology;
- Have strong English language skills (advanced intermediate English skills);
- Exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness;
- Will attend at least one additional semester of secondary school upon their return to their home country;
- Are committed to completing a community-based project upon their return home; and
- Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for a J-1 visa).
- Eligible candidates must be citizens and current residents of participating countries. Third-country nationals permanently living in an eligible country should contact us to determine eligibility prior to applying.
- Preference will be given to those who have limited or no prior experience in the United States. You are not eligible if you have traveled 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. U.S. Department of State employees, family members of the administering organization or partner organizations are not eligible to apply.
TechGirls encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.
The 2024 TechGirls application is open and will close on December 8, 2023, at 12:00 PM noon ET. All applicants will be notified of their status in March 2024.
Public Health Contingencies
Legacy International works closely with the U.S. Department of State, and local and global health professionals to plan a program that adheres to the best public health practices.