Study abroad with AFS: open up your world to new possibilities

AFS intercultural adventures transform your life forever! We call it the #AFSeffect

become global

Live with a new family in another country. Enjoy different traditions. Take time to appreciate, value and deepen your insights about other perspectives, cultures, religions and important world issues.


become change

Open your mind to a new way to view the world and help others see the world the way you experience it. Build bridges across cultures by creating friendships that will last a lifetime.


become fluent

Go to a new school, learn a new language and find ways to connect with people from other cultures and backgrounds–skills that you’ll take back home and use for a lifetime.


become yourself

Discover new things about yourself and your place in the world. Learn how to turn challenging situations into valuable opportunities to grow and become more mature.

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program

What is the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study 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 is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to study for one academic year in the United States. YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities. Participants live with a host family, attend an American high school, acquire leadership skills, and engage in activities to learn about U.S. society and values; they also help educate Americans about their home country and culture.

The program officially launched in Kenya in 2008 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and Kenya in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then, over 220 Kenyan students have completed the YES program and now participate as alumni.

The YES program is administered in partnership with the U.S. Department of State by a consortium of non-profit organizations led by American Councils for International Education. In Kenya, AFS Kenya – Organization For Intercultural Education manages the YES program in partnership with the local U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office.

Application Closed!

Application for the YES Program has now closed.

Thank you for expressing your interest to apply. We will now dedicate some time to go through every application. Due to the large volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited to selection interviews.

Once again, thank you very much for showing interest in the program! Should your application be unsuccessful, we invite you to submit an application again next year if you will still be eligible.

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Start your journey

AFS Kenya offers the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program for high school students to study abroad.

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.

To know more about the program, visit the website or send an inquiry email to [email protected].

About us

AFS is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organisation that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world. Organization for Intercultural Education (OFIE) is an AFS affiliate. It is a non-governmental and non-profit organization based in Mombasa and it works toward a more just and peaceful world by providing international and intercultural learning experiences to individuals, families, schools and community through global volunteer partnership.

AFS helps the world learn to live together, it is a world-class intercultural education organization and a global movement to develop and activate global citizens. AFS Intercultural Programs prepares and activates future leaders, global citizens and changemakers with essential 21stcentury intercultural skills to engage, lead and collaborate effectively in different cultural settings. Our international exchange, study abroad and volunteer programs are supported by research-based intercultural learning journeys facilitated by trained AFS volunteers and staff.

Find out more.

A More Peaceful World

”Before Mohamed was my friend, he was first an exchange student from Kenya through the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program. At least, that is how he was introduced to me in early 2009. At that time, if someone had asked me what I knew about Kenyans I would likely have said something about marathon runners or Maasai warriors. You see, that is the power that Mohamed had when he arrived in the United States. Perhaps without knowing, he signed up to be an ambassador and educator to everyone he met in my hometown in Western Pennsylvania.”

— by Timothy Hoffelder, friend and host neighbor of Mohamed Abubakar 2008/2009 Cohort

Read more experiences from AFS students

Welcome to Kenya

There are two programs available for students who want to have an amazing intercultural experience in Kenya

Cultural English Language Program

Are you interested in learning about Kenyan culture and improving your English while contributing to a community in need?

This 28-day programme is designed for high school students aged 14 – 17 who are interested to learn English in an intensive and cultural set-up in Kenya. This is a summer program that runs between July and August.

Find out more

Wildlife Conservation Program

Come to the land of the Wildlife!

This 12-day Wildlife Conservation program will take students on a wildlife tour from Nairobi, Naivasha, Narok and the world famous Masai Mara. The dates are perfect for one to one of the wonders of the world – the wildebeest migration. Come, discover and learn!

Find out more

Community Service Program

We implement the German government funded Weltwaerts program, which brings young people to volunteer with non-profit projects around Kenya. This includes one year, six month, three months and two months programs with AFS Germany, AFS Switzerland, AFS Belgium, AFS Italy and AFS China.

Contact us for more information
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AFS Academy

The AFS Academies are highly focused short-term, theme-based programs for under 18s designed to empower you to change your world, engage in hands-on activities, and learn skills vital to becoming a global citizen of tomorrow.

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Sawa Sawa Program: Learning Together to Create Positive Change in African Communities

Sawa Sawa program offers participants valuable insights into changemaking and provides them with skills needed to identify, engage in or implement changemaking social ventures within their own communities. Participants from Africa and beyond come together to stay with local host families and engage in a leadership and changemaking program inspired by the AFS curriculum for intercultural learning and Ashoka changemaker’s methodology. The program consists of four short-term exchanges implemented successively in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, as well as follow-up projects in the countries of participants.

More information