Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program in Qatar

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program was established in October 2002, to provide scholarships for high school students (ages 15 -18 1/2 years) to spend up to one academic year in the U.S. Qatar joined the program in 2005. The program is vital to expanding communication between the people of the United States and its partner countries in the program, in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Students live with a host family, attend a U.S. high school, and engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures.

We are not currently accepting applications for 2017 - 2018 for the U.S. Department of State Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program. The information below is for reference only. Please check back next year for future opportunities and program recruitment. YES alumni activities in Qatar are still active. If you are a YES alumna/alumnus recruited from Qatar and are interested in participating in alumni activities please contact Rachel Markowitz at

To be eligible, you must:

  1. Have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades. If there are special circumstances, please explain on the application.
  2. Demonstrate flexibility and a commitment to cross-cultural understanding.
  3. Be at least 15 years old by August 1, 2016 and not older than 18 (1/2) by August 1, 2016.
  4. Be entering grade 10 or 11 in the Fall 2016 if you meet above age requirement.
  5. Be able to pass the ELTIS English Proficiency Exam (SLEP may be used for preliminary screening).
  6. Demonstrate Sufficient English language ability to speak and study in English.
  7. Be a national or permanent legal resident of Qatar.
  8. NOT be a U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents, nor born in the U.S.
  9. Meet U.S. visa eligibility requirements.
  10. Note: the program is open to students with disabilities.

YES program eligibility requirements reflect project goals and objectives set forth by the U.S. Department of State. Scholarship applicants will be evaluated on the basis of language skills, completion of the preliminary and full application along with the submission of other supporting documents, an interview panel, group activity participation, written essays, health forms and diversity. 1st/2nd semester academic year transcripts must be submitted by February 2016 and July 2016. Certified copies of academic transcripts from the last three years are also required.

Application and Selection

Please complete an AMIDEAST Preliminary YES Application on-line and send by e-mail to The preliminary application deadline is Sunday, November 8, 2015. Applications mailed after November 8, 2015 will not be accepted.

For more information on the YES application process, please see below:

Round 1: Completion of the Preliminary application.

Round 2: Eligible applications are evaluated on the basis of:

  • Language skills and scoring on the ELTIS English proficiency test;
  • Applications with supporting documents, including: written essays, health forms, 1st/2nd quarter academic year transcript, and a certified copy of the transcript for the last three academic years.
  • Proctored essays designed to elicit information that indicates the applicant’s preparedness for an academic year program.

Round 3: Applications are evaluated based on group and individual interviews.

Each candidate’s application and supporting documents will be reviewed in Washington, DC before the candidate’s status of finalist or alternate is confirmed.