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 the Philippines in 2004 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then over 545 Filipino 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 Educational 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.


Name of Program: Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program
Country: United States of America (USA)
Program Type: Government Fully-Funded Scholarship
Program Duration: 10 months
Program Start Date:
Program End Date:
Placement: American High School and Host Family
Deadline of Application: — at —


  1. Duly Accomplished Pre-Application Form.
  2. Recent 2×2 ID-sized photo with white background attached to application form.
  3. Signed Certification and Consent Form by a parent or legal guardian.
  4. Photocopy of Authenticated PSA Birth Certificate.
  5. Photocopy of most recent Form 137 or transcript of records from your Philippine high
  6. Photocopy of valid or government ID

Note: Application form with incomplete information and requirements will lead to disqualification.

More Information

  1. Philippine citizen residing in the Philippines, at the time of application, selection and
    preparation for travel. Participants must have spent more than 50% of the last 5 years in the Philippines and have current family plans of returning to the Philippines after the program.
  2. Must be born between — and —-
  3. Be enrolled in 8th , 9th , 10th , or 11th grade at the time of application; have not completed more than 11 years of primary education nor received a high school diploma (senior high school) by the start of the program.
  4. Be among the top 25% of academic performance in their grade level.
  5. Have an equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades.
  6. Strong academic and social skills, openness, and flexibility.
  7. Demonstrated English language ability sufficient to study in a native English-medium setting.
  8. Sufficiently healthy to participate in the program.
  9. No previous significant travel to the U.S. on a U.S. government – sponsored program.
  10. Committed to cultural immersion in the U.S through a home-stay experience.
  11. Able to meet cross-cultural challenges with maturity, humor, and an open mind.
  12. Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J- 1 visa).
  13. Plans to share his/her experience with his/her home community upon return.

Important Note: Applicants who have family members (father, mother, sister or brother)and cousins within the first degree who have participated in the previous ECA-DOS sponsored programs and other AFS Philippines-administered sponsored programs are regretfully automatically disqualified to participate in this program. This restriction applies as well to AFS Philippines staff and board members up to the third degree.