Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP)


The Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) brings 50 high school students and 10 adult leaders from Southeast Asia to Northern Illinois University through a U.S. State Department grant in the spring. This year SEAYLP will be held May 3-27. Through a hybrid model of in-person, synchronous, and asynchronous sessions, participants will learn about diversity and cultural appreciation, community action and activism, and networking and collaboration within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). We will include sessions that will engage participants through debates and discussion, in addition to introducing them to hands-on service opportunities. We will take field trips to U.S. sites including Chicago and Washington, DC, and introduce them to American home life through a week-long homestay.

NIU's Center for Southeast Asian Studies has hosted SEAYLP since 2009, welcoming participants from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. These talented young people will virtually engage in courses and workshops on access and equity, green technology for economic growth, security, leadership, teambuilding and cultural diversity. CSEAS actively recruits local host families for a week of hosting SEAYLP participants; if you are interested, please contact CSEAS at

Global Youth Leaders Camp

American high school students with community service and leadership experience are also invited to participate in the program through a weekend Global Youth Leaders Camp and a three-day study tour to Washington, DC. This free opportunity gives selected Illinois high school students, ages 15-17, the chance to interact with peers from 10 Southeast Asian countries, learn about diverse cultures, build lasting friendships, and to practice leadership and civic action skills.

Host Families

Undergraduate SEA Fellows

Graduate SEA Fellows


Contact SEAYLP

Anastasia Kocher
Administrative Director