YES Programs



Thank you for your interest in the YES Program 2025-26. Please check this page again in June 2024 for further updates about applying to the YES Program for 2025-26 in your country.

High school students from countries with significant Muslim populations live and study for an academic year in the United States through the U.S. Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program. 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 Bangladesh in 2004 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and Bangladesh in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then, over 454 Bangladeshi 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 Bangladesh, iEARN-Bangladesh manages the YES program in partnership with the local U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office.

  • Eligibility

    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:

    • Be between the ages of 15 - 17 by the start of program (August 15, 2024). Have a date of birth between August 15, 2007 and August 15, 2009 on birth certificate;
    • Be enrolled in a secondary school at the time of application. Private or coaching center students are not eligible.;
    • Be currently enrolled in grade 8, 9, 10 or 11 in Bangladeshi high schools or colleges. Bangladeshi citizens studying in foreign countries are not eligible to apply.;
    • Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades;
    • Must be able to provide transcripts from 2021, 2022, and 2023 academic years, and have the equivalent of a B average or better without any failing grades on those transcripts. Applicants cannot have a gap year or repeated year of study in the last three academic years;
    • Meet U.S. J-1 visa eligibility requirements (for instance, U.S. citizens are not eligible for J-1 visa);
    • Not have spent a total of more than 90 days in the U.S. in the last five years;
    • Be a resident and citizen of Bangladesh. Dual citizens or permanent residents of the U.S, or any other country are not eligible;
    • Demonstrate sufficient English language ability, to speak and study in English;
    • Applicants cannot have any or both parents currently employed by the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Mission;
    • Applicants must not have applied for U.S. immigration through family or relatives.

    You can learn more at the iEARN-Bangladesh website. (

    Students with Disabilities
    The program can support students with disabilities and encourages their participation. The Department of State and the YES program work with Mobility International (MIUSA) to provide students with disabilities leadership-building workshops, appropriate information and support as needed to enhance their year in America. Students with disabilities must also meet the above eligibility requirements. Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to contact their YES office for information on eligibility.

  • ​Application and Selection

    There are multiple rounds to the YES application and selection process. All applicants are required to take an English proficiency exam, write a proctored essay, complete a YES program application, and participate in group and individual in-person interviews. All finalists are selected on the basis of merit.

    See below for country specific application and selection guidelines.

    Step 1: Preliminary Application

    • Apply for the program online by visiting the iEARN-Bangladesh ( website.
    • Attest the required documents by either a government official or a school official, scan them, and upload them with your online application.


    • Download and print the application form from the iEARN-Bangladesh ( website.
    • Attest the required documents by either a government official or a school official and include them in your preliminary application package.
    • Submit the completed preliminary application form with the required documents by post, or by hand to the iEARN-Bangladesh office within the deadline mentioned on the iEARN-Bangladesh website and Facebook page.

    Step 2: Phone Interview

    • After the screening of preliminary applications according to the eligibility criteria, the eligible candidates will be invited to participate in a phone interview. The interview will be 3 minutes long and is designed to test applicants on general and cultural knowledge on the world and Bangladesh. More details about the interview will only be sent out to the eligible candidates.

    Step 3: Online ELTiS Test (ELTiS 2.0) & In Class Essay

    • Qualified candidates from the phone interview will sit for the Online ELTiS Test (ELTiS 2.0) & In-Class Essay round.
    • About the Online ELTiS Test (ELTiS 2.0): ELTiS stands for English Language Test for International Students. There are two parts in the test; Listening (30 minutes) and Reading (45 minutes)
    • About the In-Class Essay: Students will have to write 3 essays during this segment of the round. They will get 15 minutes to complete each essay.

    Step 4: Final Application & Interview

    • Students, who qualify from the ELTiS Test (ELTiS 2.0) & In-Class Essay round, will submit the Final Application. Students will be informed about the Final Application process if they qualify.
    • Students who submit the Final Application, will be asked to participate in a Final Interview. The Final Interview has two parts to it: Individual Interview and Group Interview.

    After Final Application & Interview (Step 4):
    A list of Finalists and Alternates will be announced from the YES program. The Finalists will be notified, and will have to attend an Enhancement Activity, Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO), and Travel Orientation before traveling to the U.S. All the YES program activities are compulsory for the Finalists.

  • For Parents

    Studying abroad in high school is an exciting journey for both you and your child. We have compiled the information below to help answer some of the questions you may have about the YES program experience. For further information, please e-mail the YES office in your country.

    Who will support my child’s well being while abroad?
    YES participants are placed in volunteer host family homes and into host schools in the United States by established and reputable placement organizations that have competitively been awarded grants by the U.S. Department of State to implement the placement portion of the YES program. While on the program, your child will have regular contact with a trained coordinator in his or her community who will provide support, assistance, and guidance, and who will be in regular contact with the placement organization’s national headquarters.

    As the consortium lead on the grant for YES operations, also competitively awarded by the U.S. Department of State, American Councils has a national office in Washington, DC, which cooperates with all placement organizations nationwide and with all overseas recruiting offices. Each country participating in the YES program has an in-country office with at least one permanent employee in each YES country. These staff, who are the main contacts for the parents of YES students, in turn communicate with all organizations placing YES students in host communities.

    As a parent, how can I help promote the well-being of my child?
    One of the ways you can help YES plan for your child’s successful participation in the program is by providing all relevant information regarding your child’s personal health and family history on the requested application forms. This information will not be evaluated as part of the selection process, but is considered when making host community assignments. Relevant information includes, but is not limited to, a diagnosis of or treatment for an illness, a physical disability, a learning disability, a behavioral or emotional disorder, a dietary restriction, or drastic changes in weight. Recent traumatic experiences or significant changes in the student’s natural family, including serious illness, death, divorce, incarceration, or custodial changes, can also influence a student’s experience. Living and studying abroad can be a stressful and challenging experience for people of any age. These stresses can be compounded by any existing physical or mental health issues or concerns at home that arise prior to the start of the program. In order to help YES organizations and their staff to make appropriate decisions about your child’s experience, please inform us of relevant situations as quickly as possible throughout the application process and program.

    What is the involvement of the U.S. Department of State?
    The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Organizations implementing the YES program report to the U.S. Department of State.

    Where will my child be living?
    All YES students live with host families who have been carefully screened and selected. Host families receive formal orientation and training to introduce them to cultural differences and to prepare them for the hosting experience. Local coordinators provide support to participants and host families throughout the program. Students attend a school in their community alongside American peers.

    What happens in the case of an emergency?
    YES implementing organizations are prepared to respond to emergencies in the United States. Each organization provides 24-hour assistance in the event of an emergency and facilitates appropriate medical treatment, including evacuation, if necessary. YES consults with the U.S. Department of State and external risk management organizations to monitor the safety of participants while in the United States.

    Will my child have medical coverage while abroad?
    YES participants are provided with accident and sickness medical coverage to ensure that, in the case of an emergency, students will be treated as soon as possible.

    What costs are covered?
    The YES scholarship covers costs related to:
    • round-trip airfare from your home country to the United States;
    • the cost of a Pre-Departure Orientation;
    • placement with a U.S. host family for 10 to 11 months;
    • a modest monthly stipend;
    • health insurance; and
    • the cost of program activities and materials.

    What costs are not covered by the scholarship?
    Some costs that you can expect to incur from your child’s participation in the program include costs associated with obtaining a passport, required medical examinations and immunizations, and extra pocket money while on program.

    How will YES help my child prepare to go abroad?
    YES provides a wide variety of support mechanisms for students preparing to go abroad. Preparation for the YES experience begins shortly after the finalists are selected, with weekly follow up by each YES program country office. Additionally, all YES finalists are required to attend a Pre-Departure Orientation where they cover relevant topics that they will face during the program year. At the Pre-Departure Orientation, they are given a student workbook and handbook, which is theirs to keep and contains the material covered in the Pre-Departure Orientation. Lastly, upon arrival to the United States, YES students attend an orientation in Washington, D.C. with YES students from other countries, where critical information is reviewed before the students depart for their host communities.


Kha-44 (3rd Floor)
Bashtola, Shahjadpur, Gulshan

Office Phone: +8801313946086 or +8801937398825

Email Address: [email protected]

For any queries, please call or send an email to contact information listed above.