Q: What are the goals of YTILI?

More about YTILI.

Q: What does YTILI look like? 

More about the experience.

Q: What does the fellowship look like during the day? 

Q: How will fellows be placed in Innovation Hub cities? Will I get to choose the city?

 Fellows are not able to choose their U.S. Fellowship city. The YTILI will work to place Fellows in a city that aligns with their industry, experiences, and needs. All Fellows will be placed in a U.S. emerging economy and have the opportunity to work with expert mentors during their U.S. experience.

Q: What kind of work will Fellows be doing at their host organisations?

Fellows will be fully embedded in the work of a host organisation that closely aligns with their industry, experience and learning goals. Fellows will contribute to and learn from the host organisations by participating in projects, team meetings, job shadowing, and independent research.

Q:Who are YTILI mentors and how will they support Fellows?

A: At the host organisation, each YTILI Fellow will be assigned a mentor who will provide guidance throughout the fellowship placement experience. Fellows will also collaborate with their mentors to develop an action plan that they will implement upon return to their home countries. Select YTILI mentors will also travel with Fellows to their home countries through reciprocal exchanges in September, 2023.

Q: Will Fellows have time to work on their own venture during the U.S. fellowship?

While you are in the U.S., you will have some time during evenings and weekends to work on your own venture. However, the YTILI programming will be extensive, and Fellows who are able to fully commit themselves to the program get to make the most out of their experiences. YTILI alumni have often shared that this time away greatly benefited their business/organisation, because it gives them time and resources to think about their work from a distance. It allows them to develop new ideas and connections to bring their organisation to the next level.

Q: Is my family able to travel with me?

 No, the YTILI Fellowship Program is designated for individuals only.

Q: Can I select my placement city? 

WorldChicago has set forth a detailed process to carefully match each Fellow with their Innovation Hub based on their experience and industry. The matching process is a multifaceted process that has a deep knowledge of the community, different sectors, and opportunities available. (Note: on rare occasions, a fellow my be reassigned to another city when warranted by extenuating circumstances; such instances are rare and should not be expected

Q: When will I know which city is my placement city? 

You will know at the beginning of 2024 (January 2024)


Q: How strict is the age requirement? 

 Applicants must between the age of 25-35 by March 15, 2022 or born from 24 March 1988 to 24 March 1998 to be eligible for the YTILI Fellowship Program.

Q: I am a dual citizen of the U.S. Am I still eligible to apply for YTILI?

A: No, U.S citizens are not eligible to apply.

Q: I live and work in the UK, but am a citizen of France. Can I apply? 

Citizens of eligible countries residing in a different eligible country due to specific geo-political reasons may apply and will be considered by the Department of State on a case-by-case basis.

Q: From what countries are applicants eligible to apply for YTILI?

Eligible are citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Kingdom. (Note: Citizens of eligible countries residing in a different eligible country due to specific geo-political reasons may apply and will be considered by the Department of State on a case-by-case basis).

Q: I have less than 2 years of professional experience, am I still eligible for YTILI?

A: No, to be eligible, applicants must have at least 2 years of professional experience. Stay tuned to YTILI’s social media platforms and apply for the next cohort, once you have gained more professional experience.


Q: Do applicants have to be from a specific industry to apply? Am I eligible if I am running an NGO instead of a business?

 You do not need to be from a specific industry to apply. We welcome applicants from all sectors. Applicants who are running NGOs are eligible to apply.

Q: What makes a successful application? What makes a strong YTILI applicant? 

Be intentional about why you are applying for YTILI. Ask yourself:

Q: I have trouble logging into the application portal - it won’t accept my email address?

 If you receive an error message when creating an account or logging in, try the following:

      Try a different browser

      Clear your browser’s history/cache

      Accept and unblock the cookies on your browser

      Use a private or incognito mode to log into your account

      Try directly going to the application portal: https://webportalapp.com/sp/home/ytili_fellowship

●    If you are still receiving an error message, please contact ytili@ceed.si

Q: How can I best prepare for the Business/Organization Profile portion of the application?

 This section is an opportunity for you to introduce your business or organisation to the YTILI application reviewers -- explain your founding story/mission, funding model, and how you are hoping to grow the business or organisation in the next few years. Applicants should keep in mind that application reviewers have no prior knowledge of your business or organisation, so please draft your response as clearly as possible.

Q: What are you looking for in a Statement of Purpose?

The Statement of Purpose is an opportunity for you to explain why you want to be a YTILI Fellow and what makes you a good candidate for the program. You can use the following question as a guide to draft your Statement of Purpose:

      Why are you interested in joining YTILI?

    How do you think YTILI can benefit you professionally, your organisation and/or your community as a whole?

      What would be an ideal fellowship placement for you and why?

  For this question, we recommend you doing some prior research on industry trends in the U.S. and identify a few companies or organisations that you think would be a good fit for your fellowship placement. You may also consider what are some specific skills, projects, or mentorship experiences you are hoping to gain from the fellowship placement.

    Tell us about your leadership style and lessons you have learned about leadership through your work.

Q: What should I include in the CV? Does it need to be in a specific format?

The CV does not need to be in a specific format, and it should provide an overview of your professional and educational history.

Q: Who should I ask for reference letters?

Reference letters should be written by someone who is able to assess your professional skills and experiences. It can come from a supervisor, an employer, a colleague, or a professor. Recommendations from family members or from friends who do not have direct experience with your professional work will not be accepted.

Please be sure that as you're procuring your letters of recommendation that your recommenders are recommending you specifically for the YTILI Fellowship, not for previous employment, not for a general job opportunity, not for continuing education. 

The letter of recommendation should speak to specifically why they think you would be a strong YTILI applicant. 

Q: How many references do I need?

One reference letter is required, and up to three reference letters are accepted.

Q: I am running two businesses/organisations at the moment. Should I mention both of them on my application?

Yes, you can mention both businesses/organisations on your CV and Statement of Purpose. For the Business/Organization Profile and Short Response Question sections, you should focus your responses on the business/organisation that you think would most likely benefit and grow from the YTILI experience.

Q: I run a business/organisation with a partner. Can we both apply to the program?

Yes, you may both apply individually to the YTILI program.

Q: If I have participated in a previous exchange program sponsored by an organisation in the US, am I still eligible for the YTILI Program?

 If you have participated in an exchange visitor program sponsored or funded by the U.S. Department of State in the past five years, you are not eligible for the YTILI Program. Additionally, if you currently hold a valid US J-1 visa for another program, you will not be able to participate in the YTILI program, as you cannot have two valid J-1 Visas at the same time. Having another class of visa for the U.S., such as B1 or B2 tourist visas, does not conflict with obtaining a J-1 Visa for the YTILI program. For a case-by-case review of your eligibility, email us at ytili@ceed.si

Q: When can I expect the results on my application status?

 You will receive updates about your application status in summer 2023.

Q: Will support be provided to obtain a U.S. visa?

Yes, support will be provided to all accepted YTILI Fellows throughout the visa application process.