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.

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

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

Application Process

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

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

What the YES Program provides and what the Scholarship covers (for selected finalists):

• US Visa

• Round-trip travel from your home city to United States.

• 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.

• Placement in a host family and US high school.

• Orientations in home country and in the US (Pre-Departure Orientation, Arrival, Mid-Year, End of Stay, and Reorientation).

• Program enrichment activities.

• Health and accident insurance coverage, except for pre-existing conditions, eyes, and dental care.

• Monthly spending allowance.

For more information visit the Official Webpage of the Youth Exchange and Study Program


By Elorm Hermann

I'm on a mission to disrupt mindsets and explore answers to questions others are afraid to even ask.

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