Call for Applications: The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES)

OVERVIEW
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program provides scholarships for high school students to study for one academic year in the United States. YES students live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the YES program was established by the U.S. Congress in 2003 to improve understanding between countries with significant Muslim populations and the United States. YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, forming a cultural bridge of understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities.

After their year in the United States, YES alumni can look forward to participating in the active Libyan YES alumni network.

ELIGIBILITY
Student must:
• Be a citizen of Libya;
• Be a resident of Libya at the time of application;
• Be a resident in Libya for at least the past three years;
• Be enrolled in a secondary school at the time of application, in grades 10 or 11 (first or second year of secondary school);
• Be between the ages of 15-18.5 by the start of the program (August 1, 2021);
• Have an average grade of at least B for the past three academic years;
• Demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken English;
• Demonstrate maturity, good character, academic excellence, flexibility and commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding;
• Receive parental approval for travel and participation in the program; and
• Not be U.S. citizen or permanent resident and not born in the United States.

HOW TO APPLY
There are two ways to apply for the program. Students must apply through one of these options:
1 Students can apply online through filling out the Preliminary YES Application, available here. Deadline is November 20, 2020.
2 Or, students can download the application, complete it digitally, and email it to AMIDEAST at Libya@amideast.org no later than November 20, 2020, along with a copy of the student’s school transcripts (grades) for the last three years, a scanned passport or birth certificate, and a current photo. No translation of documents is necessary.

Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The program can support students with disabilities and encourages their participation. The Department of State and the YES program work with Mobility International (MIUSA) to provide students with disabilities leadership-building workshops, appropriate information, and support as needed to enhance their year in the United States. Students with disabilities must also meet the above eligibility requirements.

YES APPLICATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
There are multiple rounds to the YES application and selection process. All applicants are required to take an English proficiency exam, write a proctored essay, complete a YES program application, and participate in group and individual in-person interviews. All candidates are selected on the basis of merit.

Pre-Application: Eligible students interested in applying are asked to fill out the Kennedy-Lugar YES preliminary application form available online. A complete application must contain: Kennedy-Lugar YES preliminary application form; a copy of the student’s school transcripts (grades) for the last three years; a scanned passport or birth certificate, and a current photo. No translation of documents is necessary. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

English Language Proficiency Test and Essays: Pre-selected applicants will be invited to sit for an English Language Proficiency Test and write proctored essays;

Full Application: Selected applicants will be invited to complete the full YES application;

Interviews: Candidates who pass the English language proficiency exams and whose applications are accepted will be invited for group and individual interviews. Each candidate’s application and supporting documents will be reviewed in Washington, DC before the status of finalist or alternate is confirmed.

Deadline for submitting the application is November 20, 2020.

For more information about the Youth and Exchange Study Program, please go to: http://www.yesprograms.org/

For questions, and further information please contact Libya@AMIDEAST.org or LibyaUSAExchanges@state.gov.