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YES Program

Did you see a student who might fit well in your home?

If you want more information about a particular student or hosting in general, contact IRIS today! Schools have limited spots for exchange students, so time runs out quickly to get students placed in some districts.

 Call 515-292-7103 or email!

KL-YES Logo 2010-fh copyIRIS is pioneering an effort to offer students from all over the world participation in a traditional high school exchange program. Since becoming affiliated with the YES program in 2003, IRIS has made it possible for more than 400 high school scholars to live and study in Iowa!


The YES Program is a scholarship program created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).  It was developed to help young people understand that Christians and Muslims can live in peace, respect one another’s religion and develop common goals for community improvement in their home countries.  Since its infancy, the YES program has expended its mission to 40 different countries, such as Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen, Morocco. The program also exposes students who do not normally have the opportunity to travel outside their own region to experience other parts of the world.

YES scholars are chosen from countries with significant Muslim populations to participate in an academic-year program funded by Congress and administered by the Department of State

In addition to attending school, students live with volunteer host families and engage in volunteer service and participate in activities to learn about American society, acquire leadership skills and help educate Americans about their country and culture.

To learn more about the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program, visit the YES website.

Why these students?

The YES program focuses on countries with significant Muslim populations. The program also helps these students live the American high school experience for one academic year.  With the goal of helping educate Americans about the students’ countries and cultures,

 the YES program provides scholarships to scholarly, English-speaking high school students worldwide.  These students are viewed as the future leaders of the world. Each students has been chosen for the YES program to represent their country and promote 

international understanding, development, and peace. Although the majority of IRIS’ YES exchange students have come from Nigeria and Tanzania, since 2012, Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study students hail from 40 countries worldwide.

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