The YES Program competition for the 2022-2023 academic year is open and will be available until November 1, 2021.
Funded by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, this program helps students to foster lasting personal ties, engage in activities that promote mutual understanding across cultures, respect diversity, establish leadership skills, and understand civil society. At the same time, YES students help their American classmates enhance their understanding of foreign countries and cultures.
The Kennedy-Lugar YES program was established by Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Since then, YES has impacted more than 13,000 students from 45 countries. The reciprocal Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program opened for American students in 2009.
The program officially launched in Kosova in 2009 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and Kosova in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then, approximately 20 Kosovar students have completed the YES program each year and have joined the active alumni community in Kosova.
The YES program is administered in partnership with the United States Department of State by a consortium of nonprofit organizations, which is led by American Councils for International Education and includes numerous placement and recruitment organizations.
The competition for the Youth Exchange and Study scholarship is merit-based and open at no cost to all applicants who meet the following requirements:
- Be between the ages of 15-17 (be born between January 1, 2005, and July 15, 2007) by the start of the program (August 15, 2022);
- Be enrolled in secondary school at the time of application;
- Be enrolled in the 10th or 11th grade of secondary school at the time of application and not have graduated from secondary school prior to the program start date;
- Have the equivalent of a B average or better;
- Not have spent more than a total of 90 days in the U.S. in the past five years;
- Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements;
Be a citizen of Kosovo.
Students with Disabilities
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 America.
Students with disabilities must be enrolled in secondary school in the fall of 2021 and be born between February 15, 2004 and July 15, 2007.
How to Apply
The YES program recruitment will include three rounds of testing:
Round 1: Open to eligible applicants from September 13 - November 1, 2021. This round includes a preliminary online application and 3 essay questions which must be submitted within 10 days of starting the application.
Round 2: Upon submitting their preliminary application, students will receive an email inviting them to take part in an online 15-minute English test.
Round 3: This semi-finalist round will begin in late November and include an interview, 3 more essay questions, the full application, and a comprehensive English test. Students who pass to this stage will be invited to participate by the American Councils’ office in their country.