So I'll explain the YES Abroad Program because when I throw those words around nobody actually knows what I'm talking about.
So the Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program is a scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State for American high school students to live for a year in a predominantly Muslim country. YES Abroad students are ambassadors of their home communities and become connections between the US and the country they receive. When choosing students to receive this scholarship openness, flexibility, an interest in other countries, and a commitment to sharing the experience and knowledge they've gained abroad are key factors. While the YES Abroad program administers the scholarship, there are specific exchange programs that manage the students within the country. These programs include AFS, American Councils for International Education, iEarn, and Amideast. YES countries include India, Morocco, Thailand, Ghana, Mali (the only semester program available), Oman, Turkey, Malaysia, Egypt (except not this year) and Indonesia. What administering program you get really depends on what country you get. I'm an AFS kid.
Now there is also a YES program which is much the same but reversed; Muslim students come to the US to be hosted. The YES program is also much larger. The inbounds come from so many more places like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines, and Yemen just to name a few.
To be eligible for the YES Abroad program you have to be between 15 and 19 years old and either be in high school or have just graduated. You have to be open to being placed in any of these countries because there is no guarantee you will get a specific one. If you're interested in applying this website will be your best friend. They also can put much more elegantly what YES Abroad is all about.
Just to give you a picture of what YES has looked like so far. Here are some pictures of the In Person Selection Event (aka interview) in Denver that I talked about last time. Super fun.
This was Group 6's tower. One of our tests was to build a tower without talking. Obviously we were great. Our whole group recieved the scholarship and are going different places. There are 2 Omans, an India, a Malaysia, a Turkey and me to Indonesia. Oh and I'm second to last on the right.
Every semi-finalist for YES Aborad program. 50 of us are going abroad. I wish all 74 of us could have made it.
I'm so glad I applied. I've met so many wonderful people already, both YES and YES Abroaders. Some of the YES Abroaders have blogs too which I have helpfully linked over there -->. You're welcome. The next time I see everyone will be in DC in about 2-3 weeks. We have a Pre-departure Orientation and then Thailand and India students will be traveling to their countries after that. I'm really nervous-excited for them. I leave some time in August so a perfect amount of time to soak in California wonderfulness.
Oh how I will miss thee <3.