The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides scholarships for high school students (14-16 years old) to spend one academic year in the United States. The program is crucial for expanding communication between the peoples of the United States and Lebanon to promote mutual understanding and respect. Students live with host families, attend high school, and engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about Lebanese culture.
The program supports students with disabilities and encourages their participation.
From 2003 to the present, thousands of students have participated in the YES program. During the coming academic year, approximately 882 students will join the program from: Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Egypt, Gaza, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel (Arab Communities), Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and West Bank.
In Lebanon, 644 students from all regions of the country have already participated since 2003.
Upon their return, the students will apply their leadership skills in their home countries. In fact, alumni groups have formed and are involved with many community service activities including clothing drives, mentoring younger children, teaching English, immunization drives, and much more.
To be eligible to participate in the YES program, a student must:
Be a Lebanese citizen or a long-term Palestinian resident in Lebanon
Be currently enrolled in the Brevet or 1st secondary class of the Lebanese baccalaureate program or in the 9th or 10th grade of the high school program
Have a birth date between August 1, 2006 and August 1, 2008
Demonstrate maturity, good character, scholastic aptitude, flexibility and adaptability
Have a minimum of “B” average or 12/20 for the past three years (with no failing grades)
Have strong English language ability: Minimum “B” average or 12/20 in English for the past three years
Agree to attend classes in the U.S. as full-time students and maintain at least a “C” average in a U.S. high school or 10/20 in the U.S.
Demonstrate willingness to participate in the American host family’s daily life
Not have previously attended high school for a semester or academic year in the United States
Not be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder).
How to apply:
Fill the online application through the following link: Online Application
Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.
Provide official school grades for the last three years (preferably in English).
Provide a current passport-sized photo.
Provide a copy of Lebanese or residency ID
**Deadline to submit the application is Friday November 18, 2023**
Selected students will sit for an English test. Final selection will be based on the application, grades, essays, English proficiency test, and group and individual interviews conducted by a local review panel.