Application Deadline: November 15th, 2021
Through the U.S. Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations live and study for an academic year in the United States. YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities. Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture.
Applicants compete for YES scholarships through a rigorous, merit-based selection process. While on program, participants live with American host families, attend high school, and engage in community service and civic education activities. The YES program was established by Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001.
The YES Abroad program was established in 2009 to provide a similar experience for U.S. students (15-18.5 years) to spend an academic year in select YES countries.
- Be between the ages of 15 and 17 (be born between August 15, 2005 and August 15, 2007) by the start of program (August 15, 2022);
- Be enrolled in a secondary school at the time of application;
- Be entering 10th or 11th grade in Fall 2021;
- Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades and have a record of high academic achievement;
- Demonstrate flexibility and commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding;
- Meet a minimum English proficiency requirement;
- Not be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and was not born in the U.S.
- Be a citizen of eligible country
- Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa).
The program currently accept students from the following countries:
Albania | Bahrain | Bangladesh | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Cameroon | Egypt | Gaza | Ghana | India | Indonesia | Israel (Arab Communities) | Jordan | Kenya | Kosovo | Kuwait | Lebanon | Liberia | Libya | Malaysia | Mali | Morocco | Mozambique | Nigeria | North Macedonia | Pakistan | Philippines | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Sierra Leone | South Africa | Suriname | Tanzania | Thailand | Tunisia | Turkey | West Bank.
The YES scholarship covers costs related to:
• round-trip airfare from your home country to the United States;
• the cost of a Pre-Departure Orientation;
• placement with a U.S. host family for 10 to 11 months;
• a modest monthly stipend;
• health insurance; and
• the cost of program activities and materials.
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