The YES Program Pakistan is a fully-funded exchange program that provides Pakistani high school students the opportunity to spend an academic year studying in the United States. Students live with host families, attend American high schools, and participate in enrichment activities. The program is funded by the US Department of State and has sent over 1,200 Pakistani students to the US since 2003. The deadline to apply for 2024-25 is October 6, 2023.
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program is an incredibly exciting opportunity for Pakistani high school students to experience life in the United States. This fully-funded exchange program covers all costs – from airfare to health insurance to tuition – allowing students to focus on cultural exchange and learning.
As the October 6, 2023 application deadline approaches, students across Pakistan are eagerly preparing their applications. But what exactly does this program entail? And how can you put your best foot forward to get selected?
An Overview of the YES Program
The YES Program is sponsored by the US Department of State as part of their educational and cultural exchange initiatives. It provides scholarships for one academic year in the United States to selected high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations, including Pakistan.
Over 1,200 Pakistani students have participated in the YES Program since it began in 2003. The program aims to:
- Promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and Pakistan.
- Enable Pakistani students to experience U.S. culture firsthand by living with an American host family and attending an American high school.
- Allow participants to serve as youth ambassadors for Pakistan in their American communities.
The YES Program is administered by a consortium of organizations led by American Councils for International Education. They oversee the selection process, provide pre-departure orientation, place students with host families, arrange school enrollment, and offer support throughout the program.
To be eligible for the YES Program Pakistan 2024-25, applicants must:
- Be between 15-17 years old.
- Be enrolled in the 9th or 10th grade at a secondary school in Pakistan.
- Have at least a 60% academic average for the last 3 years.
- Demonstrate English language proficiency.
- Be a Pakistani citizen and permanent resident with no prior U.S. travel experience.
- Meet the requirements to obtain a U.S. J-1 visa.
- Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply if they meet the other criteria.
The YES Program provides an incredible opportunity completely free of cost. Here are some of the main benefits:
✔️ Round-trip airfare to and from the United States
✔️ All fees related to the visa application process
✔️ Tuition fees for the American host school
✔️ Accommodation and meals with a vetted American host family
✔️ A monthly stipend for living expenses
✔️ Comprehensive health insurance coverage
✔️ Cultural enrichment activities and excursions
✔️ Leadership training workshops and conferences
The Application Process Step-by-Step
Now that you know the basics, let’s look at the step-by-step process to apply for the YES Program Pakistan 2024-25:
Step 1: Submit the Preliminary Application
This basic application collects contact information, grades, and eligibility details. Photocopies of supporting documents are required.
Step 2: Take the YES Entry Test
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to take a written test assessing English proficiency.
Step 3: Attend the Interview
Students who pass the test will be called for an interview. The YES Final Application is also required.
Step 4: Take the IELTS
Applicants will take an IELTS test to further assess English language skills.
Step 5: Final Selection
The final cohort will be selected based on test scores, interview performance, and application strength.
Handy Tips to Make Your Application Stand Out
Competition for the YES Program is intense, with thousands of applicants for limited spots. Here are some tips to help your application stand out:
👉 Start preparing early – Give yourself plenty of time to put together a strong application.
👉 Get help editing your essays – The essays allow evaluators to see your personality, background, and goals.
👉 Practice your interview skills – The interview has a big impact on selection. Work on your public speaking ability.
👉 Highlight leadership experience – Share how you’ve made a difference in your school or community.
👉 Double check eligibility – Ensure you meet all the criteria before applying to avoid automatic disqualification.
👉 Show your enthusiasm – Let your passion for this opportunity shine through in every component.
Key Dates and Deadlines
Here is an overview of important YES Program dates:
- June 2023 – Preliminary application available
- August 2023 – Registration for entry test opens
- September 2023 – Entry test date
- October 6, 2023 – Final application deadline
- December 2023 – Selection results announced
- Summer 2024 – Students arrive in the U.S. for program start
The YES Program Pakistan 2024-25 is an incredible, fully funded opportunity to immerse yourself in American culture, study at an American high school, and represent your country. Showcase your strengths and passion in your application to give yourself the best shot at selection. The effort is well worth it for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!