Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program
Exceptional high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations spend an academic year as an exchange student in the US, attending high school and living with an American host family.
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program seeks to provide high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations with a better understanding of American society and its people, institutions, values, and culture.
Funded by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this program helps students to foster lasting personal ties, engage in activities that promote mutual understanding across cultures, respect diversity, establish leadership skills, and understand civil society. At the same time, YES students help their American classmates enhance their understanding of foreign countries and cultures.
The Kennedy-Lugar YES program was established by Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Since then, YES has expanded to 37 countries, impacting over 12,000 students. The reciprocal Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program opened for American students in 2009.
The YES program is administered in partnership with the United States Department of State by a consortium of nonprofit organizations, which is led by American Councils for International Education and includes numerous placement and recruitment organizations.
US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
High school students from select countries