Building a new generation of Global STEM Leaders
Building bridges through time with host families, service projects, job shadow days, touring and more!
What is TechGirls?
TechGirls is a U.S.-based summer 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.
In 2024, the program will support 111 young women from 37 participating countries/territories and 13+ U.S. peers in a dynamic four-week U.S.-based experience with a seven-month mentoring program (including pre-and post-exchange).
Since 2012, TechGirls has trained and mentored 653 teenage girls. Initially, the TechGirls program focused on countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In the summer of 2022, the TechGirls program expanded globally, engaging a talented cadre of STEM-minded young women from the United States and select countries in all six regions of the world (Western Hemisphere, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Eurasia, East Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa, and South and Central Asia).
The core of the TechGirls program is a 24-day experience in the United States. In partnership with Virginia Tech, participants engage in an interactive tech camp that provides an in-depth examination of cutting-edge technologies and various educational and professional paths in STEM fields. Then, TechGirls travel to a city around the USA (Austin, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, or Seattle) for community immersion and STEM career exploration. The TechGirls programming yields a multiplier effect as participants return home to conduct community-based projects with seven months of mentorship.
TechGirls is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
“TechGirls was a life changing experience. It made me want to become a better person and a braver woman in the future. ”
"I realized how fundamentally similar we all were despite coming from different cultural backgrounds."
"We enjoyed meeting intelligent and charming young women from the Middle East."
Karen, VA, host family
"I really enjoyed learning more about different cultures and meeting the girls. They were smart, well-spoken, and inspired me to work harder."
"We have met some wonderful girls, and even travelled to their countries to meet their families."
Skip, VA, host family
“The program gave me the confidence I needed to pursue a path in engineering. It helps knowing that I am part of an amazing community of girls just like me; girls with big aspirations and clear visions for their professional lives.”
The job shadow experience "enabled [TechGirls] to visualize a future with great potential."
Amy, DC, job shadow host
“I am forever indebted to the TechGirls program for showing me that I too could be part of the change I wanted to see in the world.”
“This program was amazing to teach and I loved experiencing the different cultures and personalities of each of the girls.”
Andrew, Teaching Assistant at Virginia Tech
“TechGirls is where people taught me that there are girls fighting for opportunities just like me all around the globe. There is something special in each and every one of their stories, just like in mine. ”
Sawsane, TechGirls 2022, Algeria I sent my application to the TechGirls program in the very last hours before the application deadline. Can you guess why? Because I thought: so many amazing girls are going to apply, and there is nothing special about me, so why would they choose me? Yet, I made it. I had Read More »
On the sunlit morning of Monday, July 31, 2023, the 2023 TechGirls – 125 young women from 36 countries and territories – gathered together at the U.S. Department of State (DOS) dressed in their best attire for the program’s official Capstone event. During the past three weeks of this summer exchange funded by the Bureau Read More »
Minnila, TechGirls 2022, USA For as long as I can remember, I have been fond of STEM. Whenever someone would ask me, “Minnila, what do you want to be when you grow up?”, my answer was always, “a doctor”. My interest in STEM was immeasurable because STEM subjects just made sense. There was always a Read More »
Milena, TechGirls 2022, Montenegro ‘Can you name three female scientists or inventors you know?’ For a long time, I was one of the people who only knew about Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace, and I would try really hard to think about anyone else. From an early age, I knew about Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Read More »
Kreeshna, TechGirls 2022, Kenya When I was asked to write about my TechGirls experience, I truly did not know where to start. It was incredible how so much could have happened in just 3 weeks, and how much I had grown from those experiences. This program opened my eyes to a totally different world and Read More »
Rihab, TechGirls 2015, Morocco At a young age, I had the chance to take part in the TechGirls 2015 program. I was one of the lucky girls to be selected among hundreds of Moroccan applicants. I flew to Washington, D.C. for one of the most life-changing experiences. Between the TechCamp, the job shadow experience, the Read More »
Celina, TechGirls 2022, Argentina Ever since I was a child, I’ve been interested in science and nature. From the first moment I heard about the TechGirls program, I dreamed of being part of it. Not only because of the opportunity of learning about different STEM fields, but also for the possibility of sharing this experience Read More »
Elyse, TechGirls 2022, Rwanda I cannot remember a time when I was not fascinated by machines. As a child, my father had gotten tired of me asking how different devices worked. Once, I even broke apart the blender to check what made it spin. Obviously, I ended up being scolded, but my curiosity never diminished. Read More »
Era, TechGirls 2022, Kosovo An environment where we could flourish, expand our ideas and collaborate with other changemakers, was created in the TechGirls program. This program allowed me to view the world from new perspectives. In addition, it gave me clearer lenses as I immersed myself in learning more about 35 different cultures in the Read More »
Esther, TechGirls 2022, Fiji Growing up, I have always wondered what my purpose in life was. I began to search for ways to spend my time in hopes to ignite an interest that would bring me happiness and satisfaction. I discovered that as I assisted loved ones in my community, it gave me a sense Read More »
Guzalkhon, TechGirls 2022, Uzbekistan I used to grossly misinterpret the life of my childhood idol, Marie Curie. She seemed to be a model woman who self-sacrificially contributed to her husband’s scientific success. Knowing what I know today, I try not to judge my past self too harshly. The two options available to my gender were Read More »
Leena, TechGirls 2022, Palestinian Territories Through the remarkable TechGirls program, I was given a one of a kind opportunity to not only discover the world of coding and microprocessors but also to go to the States and engage with a community of female STEM geniuses and dreamers for 3 weeks. With their support, I was Read More »
Luíza, TechGirls 2022, Brazil Two months before high school started, I had to make the decision of what I was going to study in college. The decision was not clear in my head, but I chose to major in International Relations. A few months later, I decided to visit a company in order to participate Read More »
Excellence, TechGirls 2022, USA Through the TechGirls Program I have been more into STEM than ever. “Code With Excellence” – my community action project and small business where I teach kids to code in the languages of Scratch, Python, and Java – performed great, with more than 30 students enrolled in the program. I also Read More »
Farahnozkhon, TechGirls 2021, Tajikistan I’ve had an interest in technology since I was a child. I remember collecting old gadgets, disassembling them, inspecting every detail, and reassembling them. It was great fun. When I first learned about and began studying the C ++ programming language, I realized that programming is like mathematics. We must also Read More »
Grace, TechGirls 2022, Taiwan The TechGirls program is more than a learning experience, and instead, a life-changing period. Recalling months ago, when I received the acceptance notification, I was overwhelmed by excitement to study advanced courses in a university abroad, build a connection with girls interested in STEM from different countries, and meet experts in Read More »
In 2012, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs launched an initiative called TechGirls to empower and inspire young women from around the world to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The first years of the program engaged participants from the Middle East and North Africa in a summer Read More »
Stefania, TechGirls 2022, Greece When I first applied to TechGirls, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to participate in such a selective program. So, you can imagine my joy and surprise when I realized I could be part of the wonderful TechGirls family. And now, reflecting upon the experience that I already lived and cherished Read More »
Sonia, TechGirls 2022, Nigeria I’ve always had a passion for advocacy for the underrepresented people around me, especially young women such as myself. Most teenage girls in my community shy away from taking up courses in science, and when it was time to choose a career it was hardly ever one involving science. This was Read More »
Shanika, TechGirls 2022, Suriname As a girl from a small unknown country, some dreams are really too big…. Or so I thought. My family and I watched every single space-themed movie there is on Netflix. I loved watching movies about space and the technology used in the missions, how they built the rockets, and how Read More »