Application Deadline Approaches for U.S. High School Students Seeking YES Abroad Scholarships

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Dec 29, 2014 / 0 comments

The application deadline for the 2015-2016 Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad scholarship program is January 7, 2015. The program provides full scholarships to American high school students to experience overseas communities and cultures, preparing students to collaborate on today's global challenges such as human rights, community development, workforce development, climate change, and global health.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the YES Abroad program enables students to study for one academic year in countries that may include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ghana, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Philippines, Thailand, and Turkey. The merit-based scholarship covers domestic and international travel; applicable visa fees; medical benefits; room and board; tuition at the local high school; orientations; and fees for educational and cultural activities.

Participants in the program fully immerse themselves into the culture of their host family while attending local high school. Erica, a current scholarship recipient from Wisconsin, who was named the October 2014 American Abroad of the Month by the State Department, said: "My time in South Africa has given me a chance to learn from daily life in my host school, while focusing my attention outward to my host family and community.  Every day I am both a student and teacher to my peers, and I have learned so much not just about what it means to be Zulu, Xhosa, or Afrikaans, but also what it means to be an American. I have found that it is in the informal conversations between classes and sport where I have learned and shared the most."


A 2012 participant, Hannah, who studied in Malaysia for one year, stated that "the YES Abroad program opened my eyes. I learned about a new culture and shared my own. I now have two homes, two families and countless friends from around the world."

You can read more about alumni stories on the site, including this one that I love:

A Reflection on International Education, by Catherine, YES Abroad 2014-2015, Philippines


High School students study abroad with the YES Scholarship Program


Interested students should visit to learn more the program and to apply. Contact the YES Abroad program at yesabroad[at] or 800-237-4636 x2151 if you have questions about the program or application process.


Interested in learning more about the White House initiative to increase study abroad? Here are my notes from the summit.


Follow along on twitter, using the hashtag #StudyAbroadBecause


And ask away - we LOVE study abroad here at Wandering Educators!!