Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program is to provide scholarships for high school students (15-17 years) from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the USA. The program is vital to build bridges of understanding and expand communication between the people of the United States and the partner countries in the greater interest of promoting mutual respect. K-L YES was established in October 2002 and launched in April 2003 as Youth Exchange and Study (YES) supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. The program is implemented by a consortium of organizations lead by American Council and participated by Bahrain, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Gaza, Iraq, Israel (Arab Community), Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Senegal, Suriname, Tunisia, West Bank and Yemen. Scholarship recipients live with host families, attend U.S. high schools and participate in special enrichment activities that that help them develop a comprehensive understanding of American culture and develop leadership skills. Likewise, these students serve as cultural ambassadors for their countries, representing their own rich and vibrant heritage to their American host communities. Goals of the YES Program
Goals of YES program are to engage participating youth, their teachers and classmates and community leaders in an exchange effort that promotes increased understanding and tolerance between cultures. YES program encourages exchange of ideas, values, and experiences among young people by exposing these young scholars to leadership belief systems, civil society principles, and community service involvement. Core principles of the program are:
Promote international security and peace by educating American and foreign participants about each other. YES students acquire an understanding of American values.
Students attain the qualities of leadership.
The scholars learn about the concepts of civic responsibility and volunteerism. YES alumni will work together upon returning home to share what they have learned and to make a difference in their home communities by initiating activities that built on acquired skills and experience.
Students meeting the following criteria can apply:
Citizen or Permanent Resident of Bangladesh. The student, including immediate family member must not have applied at any time for permission to emigrate to the U.S. or for a Green Card. Minimum 15 years of age but not more than 17 years on August 1, 2012; the date of birth must be within 01/08/1995 to 01/08/1997 Students currently enrolled in 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grades; or equivalent grades but not students enrolled in the 12th or equivalent grade. Be enrolled in a secondary school at the time of application. Minimum grade of ‘B’ in all subjects average without any failing grades. Provide a current academic year transcript and verified true copies of the transcripts for the last two academic years. Excellent English language ability.
Have a thorough knowledge of Bangladeshi culture and values, and be able to accurately present Bangladeshi culture in American schools and communities. Students are more likely to be shortlisted if they meet the above criteria as well as the following:
Pass the Secondary Level English Proficiency (SLEP) Test.
Possess a valid international passport at the time of final application. Meet the U.S. Visa eligibility requirements.
Record of all necessary immunizations, as outlined in the Student Application Form, before arriving in the U.S. Demonstrate maturity, flexibility, adaptability, good character and scholastic aptitude. Willingness to participate in host family’s daily life.
Should demonstrate a strong commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding. Agreement to attend classes as a full-time student and secure at least “B” average in all subjects in an American High School during their academic year in the U.S. Willingness and agreement to abide by the ‘YES Student Rules’ as outlined in the YES Student Application Form and all other rules and polices during the program. Females, non-elite, disabled, minorities, and students from underprivileged communities who meet the criteria are strongly encouraged to apply. For more information, please contact iEARN-BD at firstname.lastname@example.org,