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 270 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 Educate and Cultural Affairs (ECA) works with a separate organization to provide students with disabilities with leadership-building workshops and appropriate information and support as needed to enhance their experience in the United States.



This opportunity is opened to students who are:

  • First year of Senior High school or going to Senior High from JHS 3 within the year of recruiting 
  • Attend school in any of the 5 northern regions (Upper East, North East, Upper West, Savannah and Northern Regions)
  • Between the ages of 15-18 and 6 months (be born between 15 February 2004 and 15 August 2006)
  • Possess a good academic record and be among the top 20 percentile in class;
  • Be a Citizen of Ghana or permanent resident with a Ghana passport..
  • Exhibiting strong leadership skills
  • Of good conduct.

NB: Females, Muslims, and persons with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.


Interested students are expected to take an aptitude test on Saturday, November 13th  2021 at 9:00 a.m. prompt.  

Below is a list of the test centers and contact persons

Wa Senior High Technical School
Gowrie Senior High Technical School
Ghana Secondary School
Mr. Umar Yahaya Adus-Sallam
024 472 7338
Madam Elizabeth Paaga
024 346 1152
026 920 6402
Mr. Abdul-Aziz Yussif
020 574 2498
Mr. Moses Korblavi Amegaste 0244766711

Program Information

Country: United States of America (USA)
Program Type: Government Fully-Funded Scholarship
Program Duration: 10 months
Program Start Date: August 2021
Program End Date: June 2022
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.