Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Abroad


Advance Your Global Competitiveness and Cross-Cultural Understanding through an Academic Year Study Abroad Scholarship

The YES Abroad program provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to develop a perspective of a Muslim culture first-hand. Participants spend an academic year attending a high school while living with a host family in select countries with significant Muslim populations. A network of support through partner international exchange organizations, field staff, trained volunteers, and carefully selected host families helps ensure a successful exchange experience. 
Participants serve as “youth ambassadors” of the United States, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities. If you have a passion for learning about other cultures, this program may be for you!
Approximately 65 American students participate in YES Abroad each year. Upon their return to the United States, the students apply their leadership skills and share knowledge about their host countries through community engagement. 

Program Length

U.S. Academic Year

Eligibility and Application Overview

Public applications are accepted.

The 2021-2022 application is now OPEN. The submission deadline is December 8, 2020 at 11:59pm ET. Click HERE to start an application. 

Eligibility details for the 2021-2022 program.

  • Must be a U.S. citizen 
  • 15-18.5 years of age at start of program
  • Enrolled in high school (including home school) at the time of application 
  • For the following countries, prior French skills are required: Morocco, Senegal 
  • The YES Abroad program seeks applicants of all racial, ethnic, religious, socio-economic backgrounds, and sexual orientations.



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