Scholarship in AmericaTraining ProgramsUnited States

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program – USA

  • Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Fully Funded
  • Eligible Countries
  • High School
  • US Citizens
  • December 8, 2020

Applications are invited for Fully Funded 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) Abroad program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is offering American high school students and recent graduates full scholarships to study for one academic year in countries of strategic importance.

The YES Abroad program was initiated as a reciprocal extension of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program for international students in countries of strategic importance. The first group of Americans participated in YES Abroad in the 2009-2010 academic year, living and studying in ten select YES countries. The program now offers 65 full scholarships to American students nationwide.

Living with a host family and attending a local school, YES Abroad students promote mutual understanding between the United States and the host country by forming lasting relationships with the local community. 

Participants live with a host family, attend a local high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about the host country’s society and values; they also help educate others about American society and values.


Successful YES applicants will receive the following benefits:

  • Domestic round-trip airfare as well as room and board for the National Pre-Departure Orientation
  • Round-trip airfare between the participant’s domestic home region and host community abroad
  • In-country support, cultural activities, and school tuition (where applicable)
  • Room and board with a host family
  • Emergency accident and sickness coverage in the host country
  • Host country visa fees
  • Re-entry orientation at the scheduled conclusion of the program, as well as membership in “International Exchange Alumni,” the Department of State’s exchange alumni network, which includes access to relevant resources and professional contacts are also provided
  • A modest monthly stipend, reflective of typical costs that would be seen in the host country is also provided. This stipend covers costs associated with the student’s basic needs while in their host country
  • Cell phone while on program

Eligible countries

Students will live in the following countries::

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, North Macedonia, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey


Eligibility for The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program – USA varies with country. General eligibility criteria is:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • You must be born between December 26, 2002, and June 26, 2006
  • You must be enrolled in high school (which includes home school) at the time of application
  • The YES Abroad program seeks applicants of all racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds; sexual orientations; and welcomes applicants with disabilities
  • Applicants of all grade-point averages and academic performance are encouraged to apply

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


Applicants for The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program are required to submit:

  • Online Application Form
  • Official Grade Transcripts
  • Teacher Recommendation
  • Parent/Guardian Statement

View the current 2021-2022 application HERE.


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