Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) | How To Apply & Why To Study Abroad For A Year

Established in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001, the YES Program declares its commitment to global education for students regardless of their background. The program operates in countries with significant Muslim population, and its mission is both to provide quality education for foreign students in elite American public schools and to create a significant cultural exchange. "YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities." All YES students live with a host family, which gives them the awesome opportunity not to only engage thoroughly in American school system, but to also learn about and immerse in American values and culture.


The applications for 2022/2023 will be opened soon! 🔜

Balkan Countries Participating In The Program:

Albania 🇦🇱

Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦

Bulgaria 🇧🇬

Kosovo 🇽🇰

North Macedonia 🇲🇰

Turkey 🇹🇷


🌍 #Who can apply to the YES Program🇺🇸?

- High school students in 9th or 10th, who are academically strong and have a good command of English

- Students, who are interested in creating life-long ties across the world and feel ready to become ambassadors of their countries

- Students with disabilities are encouraged to participate in the program; leadership-building workshops, appropriate information and support as needed to enhance their year in America are provided

🌍#Why to choose the YES Program🇺🇸?

- completely free tuition in an American public school

- round-trip airfare & medical insurance

- a modest monthly stipend, as well as activities and materials are covered

- becoming member of a global community of exchange students

🌍#What are the application steps?

From 2020, the YES Program consists of 3 separate rounds:

First round: you are expected to provide personal and biographical information. Along with this, provide photos of you doing what you are passionate about or pictures with friends and family. In addition, three essay responses are the other important part of the application. Be creative, be yourself, work hard on the essay!

Second round: Online 15-minute English Proficiency Test

Third round: Full English Proficiency Test

Team activity & interview: usually, interviewers begin with a team activity, such as creating a plan or telling a story. Later, applicants go one by one to have a conversation with the interviewers, so they can select the most outstanding, confident, and strong applicants.

Essay questions: Similarly to the First round, you are expected to independently respond to 1-2 essay questions.

Finalist: If selected, you will be notified as a finalist of the program

🌍#How to manage my time during application season?

🍁September - October: Applications are opened (depending on country) -> go ahead, follow the link, and choose your country. ❄️November: Submission of the Online Application (again, depending on country, usually the first week of November) ☃️December: Interviews with selected candidates. ☀️March/April: Notification if you have been selected.

🌍#We fully support kids from small communities in the Balkans! Therefore, we believe in the mission of Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program!


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