About the YES Program

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was established by the U.S Congress in October 2002 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. The program is funded through the U.S. Department of State and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the U.S. Students live with host families, attend high school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures. Starting in 2009, the YES Abroad program was established to provide a similar experience for U.S. students (15-18 years) to spend an academic year in select YES countries.

Cooperation with the US Embassy


The YES program in Kenya is carried out with the support of the US Embassy in Nairobi, who participates in many actitivies. 



Learn more

You can consult the website www.yesprograms.org to read more about the program, testimonials from participants, etc. 





Selection criteria 

Age: At the time of departure (August 1st) participants must be no younger than 15 years and no older than 17 years and 6 months

Other selection criteria: All participants must; 

- not have graduated from secondary school at the time of travel 

  • - have strong English skills
  • - be in good academic standing with no failing marks in the past 3 years

How to apply:

There are two main methods for applying for the YES program as listed below:
  1. - Filling in a hardcopy application form which can be collected from the local chapter administrators or shared during school visits which AFS volunteers typically conduct every year. 

-Or you can download the pre-application form from our website which is published every year once applications begin. 


Meet one of our former YES participant: Christine Odera