Exchange Programs for Secondary-School Students

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program was established by the U.S. Department of State in October 2002 to provide scholarships for high school students (between 15 and 18.5 years old) to spend up to one academic year in the United States. Students live with a host family, attend a U.S. high school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their country and culture. The program is important in expanding the communication between the people of the United States and partner countries in the program.

YES scholarships cover all major expenses, including airfare, room and board, health insurance, pocket money, and educational supplies.

The YES program supports students with disabilities and encourages their participation.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be a Jordanian citizen
  • Be at least 15 years old and no older than 18.5 years old by August 1 of the year of participation
  • Have an overall grade of at least “B” (80%) in all academic subjects for the past three years
  • Have an overall grade of at least “B+” (85%) in English for the past three years
  • Meet a minimum English proficiency requirement, which will be measured by a test
  • Demonstrate flexibility and a commitment to promoting cross-cultural understanding
  • Should not be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or previous applicant for immigration to the United States

YES scholarships cover all major expenses, including: airfare, room and board, health insurance, pocket money, and educational supplies.

In Jordan, YES is administered by AMIDEAST. View the program’s webpage for more information.

To Apply:

Application deadline: November 1st. Apply today webpage.

TechGirls is a three-week international summer exchange program designed to empower and inspire young girls from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue careers in science and technology.

The centerpiece of the program is a weeklong technology camp that provides participants with an in-depth examination of technology-related topics, such as Java programming and mobile application development, and engages the program participants in 45+ hours of hands-on instruction. The camp is complemented by additional activities such as site visits to technology companies, leadership clinics, community service opportunities, job shadowing, and cultural events. As part of the program follow-on, the TechGirls implement at least one peer training program or service project within their schools and/or communities.

Students eligible to apply are those who:

  • Are from the following eligible country: Jordan;
  • Are between the ages of 15 and 17 at the start of the exchange;
  • Have demonstrated advanced skills and a serious interest in technology, engineering, and/or math in their academic studies;
  • Intend to pursue higher education and/or careers in technology;
  • Have strong English language skills;
  • Exhibit maturity, flexibility, and open-mindedness;
  • Will attend at least one additional semester of secondary school upon their return to their home country;
  • Are committed to completing a community-based project upon their return home.


Preference will be given to those who have limited or no prior experience in the United States. You are not eligible if you have travelled to the United States in the last three years as part of any other ECA exchange program.

TechGirls encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.

To Apply:

Application deadline: December 14, 2023 at 12:00 PM noon ET

Apply online on the TechGirls website after the program is announced.

Between the Lines (BTL) is a creative writing summer program that brings together young international writers (between 15 and 18 years of age) and young American writers for cultural exchange and enrichment. The Department of State is pleased to once again partner with the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program for the summer residency program from July 11-25, 2020. The backdrop of the University of Iowa, located in Iowa City – the only UNESCO Creative City of Literature in North America – serves as inspiration for the students to grow as writers and provides them with the opportunity to explore cross-cultural dialogues on creative writing and literature.

During this year’s program, “Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience,” young writers will participate in an exchange that will broaden and sharpen their writing skills, build bridges with their American and international counterparts, and deepen their understanding of American popular culture. Program activities will include English-language writing workshops, world literatures seminars, cultural visits, and other local events. Upon the completion of the program, IWP will publish the students’ writing as an anthology.

Extracurricular events and evening activities allow students to deepen their understanding of each other’s culture through their interactions with each other and with the larger community. During the exchange, participants live in a residence hall and will be supervised by live-in, trained counselors. The chaperone and counselors work together to help create a lively, supportive writing community. Travel, lodging and meals will be paid for by the Department of State.

More program information is available on the International Writing Program website at:

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be 15-18 years old as of July 2020;
  • Proficient in English (reading, writing, and speaking);
  • Be comfortable with cross-cultural dynamics and interested in close interaction with other international students;
  • Be committed to attending all sessions and creative writing workshops as part of the program;
  • Be passionate about writing.

Please send PART I and PART II of the application to (You can include your answers for PART II in the body of the email that you send to us.)

Part 1:  All writing samples must be in English in .pdf, .doc, or .docx file format, with 12-point font and one-inch margins all around.

(1) A brief response (no longer than 300 words) to the following:

“An essential component of Between the Lines is encouraging participants to explore the unfamiliar and unknown in a safe and supportive setting. Please describe a time in your past when you had to engage with a new situation, person, or idea that initially felt uncomfortable or strange. How did you proceed? If you had the chance, what would you do the same, and what would you do differently?”

(2) An essay (no more than three pages) in response to the following prompt:

“In our daily lives, we navigate many different roles—student, sibling, daughter, son, peer. We negotiate family, friends, religious groups, as well as class, gender, race, country, and so many other groups, adjusting the way we speak or behave to fit the demands of each encounter. As we move through the day, we work through how and why we occupy each particular role. What do you consider to be the strongest, most central aspects of your identity? What does it mean to you to be a member of (or seen as a member of) a particular group? In what way does your identity influence you as a creative writer and reader?”

(3) A brief statement of purpose (no more than 250 words) describing why writing is important to the applicant’s life, and what he/she hopes to learn at BTL.

(4) A creative writing sample of 6-8 pages of prose (creative nonfiction) and/or poetry in English. Critical essays (book reports, academic reports, and so forth) will not be accepted.

Part 2

  • Participant information:
    • Full name (as it appears on your passport)
    • City and country of birth (as it appears on your passport)
    • Gender
    • City of residency
    • Country of residency
    • Country of citizenship
    • Date of birth
    • Email address
    • Home address
    • School grade level
    • School name and address
    • Previous travel, including U.S.
    • Previous exchange programs and camps
    • Awards, scholarships and honors
    • Have you ever been a University of IOWA student?

Please email all complete applications to:  no later than February 18, 2020


Tomorrow’s Leaders (TL) supports academically qualified, financially disadvantaged high school graduates in the Middle East and North Africa by providing a four-year academic matriculation, civic education, and leadership development through American accredited institutions in the region. The program covers university tuition and fees, a study abroad experience in the U.S., insurance, housing, and monthly allowance. Students requiring English preparatory work may be enrolled in one to two semesters of college preparatory English classes before entering degree programs. In addition to receiving undergraduate education, students will benefit from mentoring, career development, internship, and micro-grant opportunities with local civil society, business, and non-governmental organizations and networks. Facilitated by each host institution, students participate in initiatives throughout their ‎academic program that go beyond the traditional classroom to foster leadership development and encourage civic engagement.

Who is Eligible?

This program is open to high school graduates in the Middle East and North Africa, who are qualified but unable to afford a college education. Students enroll at the undergraduate level in a four-year program. For the Fall 2023 enrollment class, applicants must be citizens of Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, and cannot hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident.

Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a high school senior or recent high school graduate at the time of application;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership potential;
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English;
  • Demonstrate strong academic performance;
  • Ability to start the program in August/September 2024.

How Do Participants Apply?

Interested candidates can access the online application through Tomorrow’s Leaders website at http://www.

Tomorrow’s Leaders application window closed on November 30, 2023. Additional information will be posted for future programs when announced.

About the program:

This fully funded program, designed to help 10 Jordanian Students in receiving full scholarships from U.S. Higher education institutions.

The two-year long Jordan Pre-College Opportunity Program, will:

–  provide U.S. pre-college programming for high-achieving, financially disadvantaged students.

– guide students through virtual workshops where students will engage in a series of pre-college preparatory courses.

– host the scholars on Temple’s campus for the in-person EducationUSA Academy and workshops in summer 2024

– support scholars through the application process with the goal of enrollment to a U.S. university in fall 2025. (University matriculation costs are not covered by this scholarship.)

 Eligibility criteria:

  • high achieving
  • Ages 15 – 17
  • Ability to show financial need/disadvantage
  • Minimum English language proficiency of CEFR B2 or equivalent (high intermediate to advanced)
  • Jordanian citizenship

Application Checklist:

  • Completed application
  • Proof of Jordanian citizenship
  • student or parent name and Jordanian ID number
  • Financial Need Statement
  • Program Application Essay
  • Teacher/counselor letter of recommendation
  • Commenting on academic achievements, obstacles overcome and maturity level
  • Teacher/counselor English language proficiency affidavit
  • Stating student has English proficiency level of CEFR B2 or above
  • 500–1000-word essay answering the following. How will your participation in this program empower you to make a positive impact on your community in Jordan? Please include specific examples that highlight your unique talents or interests, as well as identify specific needs in your community that you are deeply passionate about impacting.

Deadline to apply December 1, 2023.

Apply here: