Last day to Apply: December 08, 2020

Applications are invited for the Fully Funded Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program by the U.S. government.

The Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Cultural and Educational Affairs, grants fresh graduated and American high school students a full scholarship for one academic year to study in countries of strategic importance.

The YES program is initiated as a mutual extension of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study program for international students in strategic importance countries. The first group of Americans participated in YES Abroad in 2009-2010, studying and living in ten YES countries. The program now gives 65 fully-funded scholarships to American scholars.

Being with a host family and studying in a local school, YES Abroad students promote mutual understanding between the U.S. and the host country by building lasting relationships with the local community, and also help them to acquire leadership skills and engage in activities to learn society and values of the hosting country; they also help teach others the society and values of the American.


Selected applicants will get the following benefits:

  • Domestic trip fees as well as room and board for the National Pre-Departure Orientation.
  • Round-trip airfare from the participant’s domestic home region to destination country.
  • In-country support, school tuition and cultural activities.
  • Room and board with the hosting family.
  • Accident and sickness coverage in the destination country.
  • Visa fees of the hosting country.
  • Re-entry orientation at the program’s scheduled conclusion, also a membership in “International Exchange Alumni,” the Department of State’s exchange alumni network, where you access relevant resources and professional contacts.
  • A monthly stipend, based on the typical costs seen in the host country. This stipend covers costs associated with the student’s basic needs in the destination country.
  • Cell phone while on the program.


General eligibility criteria are:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Born between December 26, 2002, and June 26, 2006
  • You must be in high school (which includes home school) at the time of application.
  • The program accepts applicants of all racial, religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds; and welcomes applicants with disabilities.
  • Grade-point averages and academic performance are not considered; all students are encouraged to apply.

The YES program is merit-based and open at no cost to all applicants who fit the eligibility requirements.


Applicants are required to submit:

  • Online Application Form.
  • Grade Transcripts (official).
  • Teacher Recommendation.
  • Parent Statement.

View the current 2021-2022 application HERE.



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