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:

  • In their first year of Senior High School or final year of Junior High School
  • Between the ages of 15-18 and 6 months (be born between February 1, 2003 and August 1, 2006) by the start of the program (August 1, 2021);
  • Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades;
  • Possess a good academic record and be among the top 20 percentile in class;
  • Citizens of Ghana.
  • Exhibiting strong leadership skills
  • Of good conduct.

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

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


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.