YFU YES Program Resources
In response to the events of September 11th, 2001, the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was launched to build bridges of understanding between the United States and countries with significant Muslim populations in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Southeast Europe. Funded by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), the YES program provides high school students from these countries an opportunity to live in the United States with host families and attend high school for an academic year.
In the program year 2016-17, YFU welcomes 44 YES scholars from:
Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and West Bank.
Explore the YES program's impact on students, host families, and communities: yesprograms.org
Support Materials for Scholars, Host Families, and Volunteers
YES Student Handbook (American Councils publication)
YES Introduction to the USA: An Orientation Workbook (American Councils publication)
YES Student of the Month Nomination Instructions - The YES Student of the Month program is sponsored by the Department of State and recognizes outstanding YES scholars each month.
YES Country-Specific Resources
Cultural Information Sheets - country-specific information on school, family life, personal interactions, personal hygiene, and food and culture
Cultural Handbooks for YES Program Countries - Funded by the US Department of State and available to all organizations hosting YES scholars, these resources focus on cultural norms and traditions and provide perspectives from US host families. Use these handbooks to learn about your YES student's cultural background and support their adjustment in the US. Each year, the YES program adds new country handbooks.
Resources for Supporting Muslim YES Scholars
Dealing with Religious and Cultural Issues (CECF publication)
Welcome Letter from Imam Arafat (CECF publication)
Eid ul-Adha and Thanksgiving Letter (CECF publication)
Christmas from an Islamic Perspective (CECF publication)
Required Activities for YFU YES Scholars
Community Service & Leadership Development
Global Youth Service Day - April 15 - 17, 2016
YFU YES Host Family, School, and Volunteer Recruitment Tools
School Administrator Handbook (US Department of State publication)
YES Scholar & Host Family Stories Promotional Video - This US Department of State-sponsored video features YES students and their host families, including YFU YES student Nourhan from Kuwait. The video engages prospective host families in the extraordinary story of the YES Program and encourages them to be hosts, ambassadors, and champions. It dispels myths and preconceptions, answers common questions, and gets people excited about hosting. Use this tool to introduce the YES program, broaden the appeal for and deepen appreciation of this exchange opportunity for host families and community members.
Country-Specific Promotional Flyers - inspirational stories demonstrating the impact of YES scholars from previous years in their host communities and home countries. Use to support placement for students from these countries: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Gaza, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Mali, Morocco, Pakistan, Yemen
Leadership Opportunities for YFU YES Scholars
1. Civic Education Workshop (CEW): A one-week program, held by American Councils and American Civics Center in Washington, D.C., hosting approximately 100 YES students. During CEW, students will learn firsthand about the U.S. federal system of government and other important concepts of US culture and civil society through seminar discussions, briefings, and meetings on Capitol Hill.
4. English Language Teaching: This one-week workshop, presented by American Councils in Washington, D.C., will host approximately 28 students. Participants learn classroom teaching and leadership skills. The workshops are focused on developing participants' abilities to teach English to other youth and to help them qualify for ECA and Embassy supported English programs when they return home. Activities include extensive online pre-program engagement, as well as follow-on support and interaction after the students return home.
5. Better Understanding for a Better World Conference (BUBW): This conference brings together US high school students of diverse backgrounds and international exchange students currently studying in the US. YFU YES students selected to attend will receive a scholarship which pays for the full conference fee and transportation to Baltimore.
January 13: Send your complete application to be received by this date by YFU USA either via 1) email scan to email@example.com; 2) regular mail: YFU USA, Grant Programs Staff, 641 S Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Important: If you do not receive an email confirming receipt of your application, contact Elizabeth Logsdon at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate when and by which method you sent an application.
Mid-February: Students notified of acceptance by YFU USA
Note: The BUBW workshop application will be offered only to YFU FLEX & YES scholars. Approximately 12 of our YFU FLEX & YES scholars will be selected to attend.
Send YES project ideas and pictures to email@example.com.