YES Programs



I’m Self-Confident, Or Am I?

Hussain standing with a snow shovel surrounded by many feet of snow

By Hussain Slaiman (YES 2022-2023, Kuwait, placed by AFS-USA in Hamburg, NY)

When I first applied for the YES program, I truly did not believe that I would be accepted. However, with every step through the application process, I gained more confidence. When I found out I had been accepted, I realized that we control our own confidence and our dreams.

Hussain and two teenage boys standing in Times Square

During my YES year, I was placed in Hamburg, NY. It was quite an adjustment coming from blazing hot Kuwait (where it gets up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit) to freezing Hamburg (where it gets down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit). The weather ended up being one of the highlights of my year, though! I always remember Christmas Day when we got six feet of snow and couldn’t leave our house for two days.

The best decision of my exchange program was joining the football team. I loved not just the sport, but also forming great friendships with my teammates, many of whom I still talk to months after I returned home.

My year of experiences on the YES program taught me a lot, but the most important lesson I learned was that confidence and will can help me achieve anything I set my mind to.