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Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Program

As a response to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the US Department of State created the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Program. This vital program extends the hand of peace by providing scholarships to high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend an academic year in the USA. As part of an American host family and an American high school, students of this groundbreaking program become true ambassadors of intercultural understanding in today’s increasingly complex world.

All YES students undergo a rigorous selection process and come from a variety of countries including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gaza, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel (Arab Community), Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Suriname, Turkey, Tunisia, and West Bank. Because all YES students have been awarded a US government-funded scholarship, they come with comprehensive medical insurance and a monthly stipend to cover daily expenses. In addition, YES students have access to funds for items such as clothing and school supplies.

The YES program includes several unique components geared toward helping a student gain insight into US economic and political life. Volunteer and community service activities, an International Education Week presentation, a host state capital visit, and a subscription to Time Magazine are just a few of the "extras" that YES students enjoy during their year in the United States. In addition, students are encouraged to apply for additional workshops while on program, including the Civic Education. These workshops are generously funded by the US Department of State and provide specialized leadership training to students.

For American families, embarking on an historic experience by hosting a YES student is as memorable as it is fun. Find out how you can learn about the world without ever having to leave your backyard! To learn about how to become an ASSE Host Family click here.