Office of Origin: ECA-IIP/EX
Announcement Number: 2012_10_049
Date of Announcement: October 9, 2012

U.S. Department of State Exchange Scholarships for U.S. High School Students

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is currently recruiting U.S. citizen candidates for various ECA-sponsored youth exchange programs and requests all Department of State staff to help spread the word about these opportunities. Information about applications and deadlines follows. Children of State Department employees, with the exception of those working for ECA’s Youth Programs Division, are eligible to apply.

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to U. S. high-school aged students to study seven critical languages in countries where these languages are spoken. Recruiting for 2013-2014 programs is underway and applications are due on November 1, 2012. More information about the program can be found at The NSLI-Y program is part of a multi-agency U.S. government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to engage with people from around the world who speak Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian, and Turkish. Six-week summer programs will be offered for all seven languages in 2013 and academic year programs for 2013-2014 will be offered for all languages except Persian.

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers scholarships to American high school students to spend the 2013-14 academic year in countries that may include Bosnia & Herzegovina, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mali (semester), Morocco, Oman, South Africa, Thailand, Tunisia, and Turkey. This post 9/11 program focuses on increasing understanding between people in the U.S. and countries with significant Muslim populations. The application period is now open. The application deadline is January 10, 2013. Visit for more information. YES Abroad program participants live with host families, attend high school, engage in activities to learn about the host country’s society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate others about American culture while learning about their host country’s culture.

The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) was established in 1983 to celebrate German-American friendship based on common values of democracy and promotes lasting personal and institutional relationships through an academic year school and a home-stay experience. Secondary school students, ages 15-18, live with host families, attend school and participate in community life. Another part of the program is dedicated to young professionals (undergraduates) and high school graduates of vocational studies ages 18-24 who study and participate in practical training. Prior German language skills are not required. Recruiting for the 2013-2014 programs is underway; application deadlines vary by U.S. region and range from September 2012 to January 2013. For more information and application deadlines visit

The American Youth Leadership Program offers opportunities for American high students and educators to travel abroad on a three- to four-week long exchange program to gain firsthand knowledge of foreign cultures and to collaborate on solving global issues. ECA has partnered with several different organizations to implement this program, and each of them has organized an academic and experiential educational exchange focused on dialogue and debate, leadership development, and community service. In 2013, more than 140 selected participants will be able to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Malaysia and Singapore, Peru, Paraguay, Samoa, and Uganda. Recruitment areas and application deadlines vary, so check for links to the partner organization’s program information.

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