The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program, funded by the U.S. Department of State, provides scholarships for secondary school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend one academic year in 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 following requirements:
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- Be between the ages of 15-18.5 by the start of program (August 1, 2021);
- Must be enrolled in a secondary school in one of the participating states;
- Must have completed SS1 class by August 2020;
- Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades;
- Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa);
- From eligible country
The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to study for one 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.
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- 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.
- The cost of program activities and materials
Application and Selection
There are multiple rounds to the YES application and selection process. All applicants are required to take an English proficiency exam, write a proctored essay, complete a YES program application, and participate in group and individual in-person interviews. All finalists are selected on the basis of merit.
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Application Deadline: Varying by Country.