What is YES Program?

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program was established in October 2002. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. exchange community, recognized the importance of youth exchange as a key component to building bridges between citizens of the United States and countries around the world, particularly those with significant Muslim populations.

The program officially launched in Ghana in 2006 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and Ghana in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then, over 290 Ghanaian students have completed the YES program and now participate as alumni.

YES Program supports students with disabilities and encourages their participation. The U.S, Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) works with a separate organization to provide students with disabilities with leadership-building workshops, appropriate information and support as needed to enhance their experience in the United States.


Eligibility Criteria

This opportunity is opened to students who are:

  • Born between 15 February 2007 and 15 August 2009 (between 15 August 2006 and 15 August 2009 for persons with disabilities)
  • Students currently enrolled in SHS 1 are preferred.
  • Enrolled in Senior High school at the time of application. 
  • Attend school in any of the 6 listed regions (Volta, Oti, Western, Western North, Central and Greater Accra Regions)
  • Be a Citizen of Ghana or permanent resident with a Ghana passport.
  • Exhibit strong leadership skills.
  • Be of good conduct.

NB: Females, Muslims, and persons with disabilities and residents from underrepresented and marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.


Interested students are expected to take an aptitude test on Saturday, May 27th  2023 at 10:00 a.m. prompt.  

Below is a list of the test centers and contact persons

Aggrey Memorial Senior High School Archbishop Porter Girls Senior High School Ola Girls Senior High School Kadjebi-Asato Senior High School Sefwi Wiawso Senior High School PRESEC-Legon

Tema Senior High School 
Benjamin Forson
024 458 8315
Janet Keku
027 707 4885
Foster Deh
054 674 7664
Maxwell Mensah
054 211 5728
Jacob Oware
055 316 9480
Omar Tabbicca
026 767 8989

Mr Darko
055 144 1587

NB: Please bring along a valid ID to your centre for identification and verification of eligibility.

Program Information

Country: United States of America (USA)
Program Type: Government Fully-Funded Scholarship
Program Duration: 10 months
Program Start Date: August 2024
Program End Date: June 2025
Placement: American High School and Host Family

  1. US Visa
  2. Round-trip travel from your home city to United States.
  3. Domestic travels:
    a. From and to your hometown, for visa interview at the US Consulate & Embassy.
    b. From and to your hometown, for Orientation and Reorientation.
    c. From and to your host town in the US.
  4. Placement in a host family and US high school.
  5. Orientations in home country and in the US (Pre-Departure Orientation, Arrival, Mid-Year, End of Stay, and Reorientation).
  6. Program enrichment activities.
  7. Health and accident insurance coverage, except for pre-existing conditions, eyes, and dental care.
  8. Monthly spending allowance.

For Parents

Studying abroad in high school is an exciting journey for both you and your child. We have compiled the information below to help answer some of the questions you may have about the YES program experience. For further information, please e-mail the YES office in your country.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Organizations implementing the YES program report to the U.S. Department of State.