Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad) program, provides competitive merit-based scholarships for U.S. citizens in secondary school (age 15-18.5)
YES Abroad Morocco
Submitted by moroccanchica | February 29, 2016
This was an incredibly impactful year of my life. I can imagine that the oversight of such a large, multi-country program is difficult though I did not always feel supported ( I would even go so far as to say judged) when I was really struggling with mental health issues. Other than that I could not have asked for more out of my year.
2014-2015 Oman Alum
Submitted by كنزي - High School Senior | October 09, 2015
Let's be real here, my body may be back in the U.S. but my heart sure isn't . Going to Oman with YES is by far the best decision I have ever made. Was it hard? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes a thousand times over. I have been back in the U.S. almost four months and hardly a minute passes where I am not thinking about Oman. I miss my second home and amazing friends everyday. I think one of the best parts about the YES program is the strong sense of community. Even though the 60+ YES students are spread across 13 countries and only spend a handful of days as a full cohort, I have never met a group of people I have connected with so instantly. The YES community is an amazing support system, which is really needed when studying abroad. YES Abroad, like any exchange organization, is not perfect. It is really hard to coordinate so many students who are so spread out, and by its very nature exchange is challenging. However, YES does a really great job addressing concerns and all of the staff are very passionate about what they do. I'd apply again this year if I could!
YES Abroad in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Submitted by Katie Wells - Portland Community College | October 05, 2015
The YES Abroad program is something no high school student should look over. Through this fully-funded scholarship, I have met people from all over the world, travelled to places I didn't know existed, and learned -- not only about the world around me, but of myself and how people can be so diverse and yet so similar. Through YES Abroad, I travelled within my host country of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as other excursions to Croatia. Living with my host family provided time to form a lasting bond and relationship, learn about the culture close up, as well as safe environment for me to practice my language skills with people who are willing to help me increase my abilities. I highly recommend this program to all high school students who are willing to experience a completely different lifestyle and see the world in a new light.
A Year in Thailand
Submitted by Bison - Lipscomb University | October 05, 2015
What if I told you that you could live in Thailand for an academic year with a host family, attending a local school, learning a language and culture by immersion, fostering intercultural and personal development skills, and developing international friends? What if I told you that this program was absolutely free? The Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program is an amazing opportunity to do all of the things I listed above, and if you are highly motivated to succeed, it will be the most transformational year of your life. The State Department and your implementing organization do a fantastic job of preparing you for the year abroad, supporting you during it, and helping you readjust after you come home. Additionally, the family of other exchange students is like none other. The support is incredible.
I was able to volunteer in my community, travel to different cultural and natural landmarks around the country, and complete a capstone project about a certain aspect of Thai culture that interested me.
Most of all, Thailand is a beautiful and unique country. As an exchange student, you will see a side of the country that no tourists ever see. The immersion factor is what makes this experience so special. You will not regret applying - there are no downsides!
Morocco on a Full Scholarship!
Submitted by Buzzah - Princeton University | October 05, 2015
The obvious bonus to the YES Abroad program is that it is a full scholarship. Getting to live abroad, study at a foreign school, live with a host family, and travel around the country without paying anything is a huge deal. But YES Abroad is also very well administered and structured- it provides language classes in most countries, excursions throughout the year to visit different parts of your host country, cultural activities and classes, and volunteer opportunities, all of which will take your year up a notch. Plus, the State Department Exchange community is awesome and will continue to be a great resource after your year abroad. There is no safer program out there- the State Department keeps close tabs on their programs and never sends students somewhere they deem unsafe. Get ready for the year of your life!! Plus, as an extra tip, Morocco is a beautiful country with a rich culture that will keep you enthralled all year. I loved the location of my year abroad!