The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (K-L YES) Program for the academic year 2019-20 is announced by The American Center at the U.S. Embassy Dhaka.
This is a high school exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. This program was established in October 2002. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. exchange community, desire from this program to building bridges between citizens of the United States and countries around the world, particularly those with significant Muslim populations.
International Education and Resource Network – Bangladesh (iEARN-BD), is administered this program in Bangladesh through U.S. Embassy Dhaka. This program is enabled for Bangladeshi high school students from grades eight through eleven to spend one academic year at an American high school. Its purpose is to provide promising high school students with a deeper understanding of the United States, while simultaneously enhancing their leadership skills. In addition to their coursework, participants are also expected to become active members of their local communities by participating in extracurricular activities and volunteer projects.
The Youth Exchange and Study (K-L YES) Program began in Bangladesh in 2004, and since then, 392 Bangladeshi students have successfully participated. Many YES participants have been recognized for their community service activities in the United States and the YES alumni association in Bangladesh is actively engaged in several community programs.
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.
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, International Education and Resource Network – Bangladesh (iEARN-BD) manages the YES program in partnership with the local U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office.
- 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.
- The cost of program activities and materials.
- Be Bangladesh citizens and not dual citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., or any other country.
- Be between 15 and 17 years of age on August 01, 2019; have a date of birth between August 1, 2002 and August 1, 2004.
- Be currently enrolled in grade 8-11 in any high school and/or college in Bangladesh.
- Be proficient in written and spoken English at a level sufficient to engage in high school-level courses.
- Have a B grade point average or better, without any failing grades in the present year and past two years.
- Be able to meet U.S. J1 visa eligibility requirements.
- Have not applied for U.S. immigration through family and/or relatives.
- Have not remained in the U.S. for more than 90 days in total.
- Neither parent works at the U.S. Mission (U.S. Embassy, USAID).
- Be able to accurately present Bangladeshi culture in American schools and communities.
- Be committed to returning to Bangladesh upon completion of the program and completing a two-year home residency requirement.
- Demonstrate leadership skills.
- Have little or no prior study or travel experience in the United States or elsewhere outside of their home country.
- Be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and educational travel for one academic year.
- Be prepared to adapt to American high school life and to live with an American host family.
- Be mature, responsible, independent, confident, open-minded, tolerant, thoughtful and inquisitive.
- Be willing and able to fully participate in an intensive academic program, community service, and educational travel program; and, be comfortable with campus life, prepared to share living accommodations, and able to make adjustments to cultural and social practices different from those of their home country.
Step 1: Preliminary Application
- Apply for the program online by visiting the iEARN-BD website (recommended).
- Send the required documents by post to the iEARN-BD office along with the signed application.
- Collect the application form from the iEARN-BD Office, The American Center at Dhaka, The American Corner locations or download the form the iEARN-BD website. A photocopy of the form is acceptable.
- Submit the completed form with necessary documents by post or by hand to iEARN-BD office by the deadline.
Step 2: Phone Interview
- After the preliminary application screening, short listed candidates will be invited for a phone interview. The interview will be 3 minutes long and is designed to test applicants on general knowledge. More details about the interview will only be sent out to the shortlisted applicants.
Step 3: ELTiS Test & In Class Essay
- Shortlisted candidates from the phone interview will sit for the ELTiS test & In-Class Essay.
- About the ELTiS test: ELTiS stands for English Language Test for International Students. There are two parts in the test; Reading (45 minutes) and Listening (25 minutes).
- About the In-Class Essay: Students will have to write 3 essays during the test. They will get 20 minutes to complete each essay.
Step 4: Final Application & Interview
- Students who qualify after the ELTiS test & In-Class Essay will submit the final application. Students will be informed about the final application process if they qualify.
- Students submit the final application will be asked to participate in an interview. The interview has two parts: individual and group.
The selection process will be completed within January 2019.
After interview (Step-4): A list of finalists and alternates will be announced from Washington D.C., USA. Selected students will be notified and will have to attend Pre-Departure Orientation (PDO) and Travel Orientation before travelling to the U.S. Both of these events are mandatory for the program.
Application Deadline: November 24, 2018Application ClosedOfficial link