Applications are invited for Fully funded The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program by the U.S. government and administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State.
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was established by Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of State and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide Scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the United States. Students live with host families, attend high schools, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures.
Starting in 2009, the YES Abroad program was established in order to provide a similar experience for U.S. students (15-18 years) to spend an academic year in select YES countries.
The YES program is administered in partnership with the U.S. Department of State by a consortium of non-profit organizations led by American Councils for International Education and includes the placement and recruitment organizations listed on their respective pages.
Successful YES applicants will receive the following benefits:
- Round-trip domestic and international travel (from home to the United States and back)
- Monthly allowance to help students participate in social activities and buy necessary personal supplies
- Placement with a selected and screened U.S. host family for one year
- Enrollment in a U.S. secondary school
- Program orientation activities including preprogram preparation, U.S. orientations, and re-entry preparation
- Program activities arranged in local U.S. communities
- Medical insurance, excluding pre-existing conditions and dental care
Students from the following countries are eligible to apply:
Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Egypt, Gaza, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel (Arab Communities), Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, West Bank
Eligibility for The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program – USA varies with country. General eligibility criteria is:
- Be between the ages of 15-17 by the start of program (August 1, 2019)
- Be enrolled in a secondary school, and be in 9th or 10th grade or ‘O’ Levels at the time of application
- Have earned minimum marks of 60% in all major/core subjects (English, Mathematics, Sciences) in the last class attended without any failing grades, and have an overall minimum average mark of 60% for the past three years. (Students with a gap year or a repeated year are ineligible.)
- Be able to communicate in English. Applicants must have earned a minimum mark of 60% on the last English exam (2017-18) and minimum marks of 60% for the previous two years (2015-16 and 2017-18)
- Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa)
- Be a citizen of eligible country and reside in their country
- Must not have traveled to the United States
In keeping with the U.S. Government-sponsored initiatives, dedicated to democratic reform, the competition for the Youth Exchange and Study scholarship is merit-based and open at no cost to all applicants who meet the eligibility requirements
Applications for for The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program is different for eligible countries and selection process is different for different countries. Applicants are advised to keep checking the announcement section of the YES website or Facebook page for updates and information.
Final selection of students will be based on the following: Entry Test, Interview, neatly completed YES Final Application with all required documents and ELTiS test score. The finalists will be notified by a letter and Scholarship Acceptance form from the YES Program Director.