Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program

If you would like to spend a year of high school in the United States, YES may be the program for you!
A group of YES alumni at a YES gathering in the mountains


The Kennedy‐Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program provides scholarships for high school students to study for one academic year in the United States. YES students 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 supports students with disabilities and encourages their participation.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the YES program was established by the U.S. Congress in 2003 to improve understanding between countries of strategic importance and the United States. YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, forming a cultural bridge of understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities.

After their year in the United States, YES alumni can look forward to participating in the active Lebanese YES alumni network.


To be eligible to participate in the YES program, students must:

  • Be a Lebanese citizen or a long-term Palestinian resident in Lebanon
  • Be currently enrolled in the Brevet or 1st secondary class of the Lebanese baccalaureate program or in the 9th or 10th grade of the high school program
  • Have a birth date between August 1, 2005 and August 1, 2007
  • Demonstrate maturity, good character, scholastic aptitude, flexibility and adaptability
  • Have a minimum of “B” average or 12/20 for the past three years without failing grades
  • Have strong English language ability: minimum "B" average or 12/20 in English for the past three years
  • Agree to attend classes in the U.S. as full-time students and maintain at least a "C" average or 10/20 in a U.S. high school
  • Demonstrate willingness to participate in American host family daily life
  • Have not previously attended school for a semester or academic year in the United States
  • Not be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder)


  • Fill out the Kennedy-Lugar YES application completely. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.
  • Provide official school grades for the last three years (preferably in English).
  • Provide a current passport-sized photo.
  • Provide a copy of Lebanese or residency ID.
  • Applicants can submit the application online to, deliver it in person to Amideast, send it through the school, or mail the application to the following address:

Kennedy-Lugar YES Program

PO BOX 11-2190
Beirut 1107 2100

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.

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.

YES Senior Program Specialist:Mrs. Leen Al Yaman
Street Address:Bazerkan Building (Next to the Parliament), Nijmeh Square, Beirut Central District, Beirut
Mailing Address:PO Box 11-2190 Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2100
Phone:961-1-989901 ext 163
YES WhatsApp Hotline:961-78-949908
Office Hours:

Monday–Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


To date, nearly 591 alumni from all regions in Lebanon have participated in the YES program. They come from public and private schools — from all the diverse regions and communities present in Lebanon — and go on to pursue very diverse fields of study. Yet they remain united by their YES experience in the USA, their love of sharing those experiences with other Lebanese, and their commitment to serving their country upon their return.

Each year YES alumni in Lebanon plan and implement a variety of programs, including community service projects, training workshops to continue improving their own skills, and social events to help them stay connected with each other. Read more about YES alumni's activities!

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YES is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Amideast/Lebanon. Amideast administers the Kennedy-Lugar YES program as part of a consortium headed by American Councils and includes AFS Intercultural ProgramsiEARN, and Iowa Resource for International Service.



US FlagState Department logo
YES is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by Amideast.