In February, I found out that I was one of 90 semi-finalists who were flown to
for a weekend in March of individual
interviews and group evaluations. It was incredible to meet so many friendly
and outgoing high-schoolers from across the country, and while we were
encouraged to make friends and not be competitive, it seemed there wasn't a
person there who wouldn't be fit to spend a year abroad. Denver, CO
On April 13th, I found out that I was one of 55 finalists from the entire country that would be awarded a full scholarship to spend the next academic year abroad.
So what is the YES Abroad program anyway?
The Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program is the American sending portion of the Kennedy-Lugar YES program. YES stands for Youth Exchange and Study, a scholarship program that was founded in 2002 to bring students from countries with significant Muslim populations to live with host families in the
to promote intercultural learning and understanding. Right now, students can
spend a fully paid for academic year in the United States from the following
Afghanistan, Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Egypt, Gaza, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Israel (Arab Communities), Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, West Bank, and Yemen.
In 2007, the YES program expanded to not only receiving students, but sending American students to countries with significant Muslim populations. Each year, 5 students are selected to be sent to each Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Mali, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Thailand, and Turkey (this year however, Mali and Egypt were cut out due to political unrest, and students were distributed amongst the other countries; 55 scholarships were still awarded).
You can check out their website here.