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 531 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: August 2021
Program End Date: June 2022
Placement: American High School and Host Family
Deadline of Pre-Application: December 7, 2020 (Already closed)

Read full text of YES Call for Pre-Application MEMO (2021-22)

YES 2021-22 Qualifiers for National Selection Camp


1. Duly Accomplished Pre-Application Form.

2. Recent 2×2 ID-sized photo with white background attached to the 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 school.

6. Photocopy of valid or government ID

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

Click here to download Pre-Application Form

More Information

In keeping with the U.S. Government-sponsored initiatives, dedicated to democratic reform, the competition for the Youth Exchange and Study scholarship is merit-based and open at no cost to all applicants who meet the following requirements:

  1. Be between the ages of 15-18 (born between August 1, 2003 to August 1, 2006) by the start of program (August 1, 2021);
  2. Be enrolled in 8th, 9th, 10th, or 11th grade at the time of application;
  3. Be among the top 25% of academic performance in grade level;
  4. Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades;
  5. Meet the U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa);
  6. Be a citizen of the Philippines residing in the Philippines, at the time of application, selection, and preparation for travel. Preference will be given to participants who 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; 
  7. Preferably have a valid Philippine passport, or PSA authenticated birth certificate and DSWD independent travel clearance (for minors) (Note: these documents may be submitted after being selected as finalist);

Important Note: All immediate family members of AFS Philippines-administered sponsored programs scholars & alumni (ASEAN, ACCU-UNESCO, Akiko’s Wish, Egypt educator, JENESYS, Kizuna, AFS INT Diversity, YES, PYLP, AAI Journalism Grant, Kamenori, NEXT 50, Hiroshima, corporate scholarships, etc.) up to the first degree (by birth or by marriage), as well as AFS Philippines staff and board members up to the third degree (by birth or by marriage), are regretfully automatically disqualified from any of the full scholarship exchange programs.