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PROGRAM APPLICATION:

The YES program covers all major costs to include airfare, U.S. visa fee, boarding and lodging in the United States, school tuition and a $125 USD monthly stipend.
The age requirement is not flexible. The student must be at least 15 years old and no older than 17 years old on August 15, 2022 (the year of travel to the United States).
Students are highly discouraged from applying unless they are seriously interested in participating in the program from the very beginning and have the full support and permission of their family.
Applicants with previous travel to the United States are not eligible for the program.
Only Pakistan nationals who study and reside in Pakistan are eligible to apply for the program.
Immunization records are very important and required from every student in order to participate in the program. In addition to the common immunization requirements in Pakistan, special vaccinations may be needed, depending on the host state’s requirements. Students also need to clear the TB skin test to attend the program.

HOST FAMILIES:

All YES exchange students are placed with American host families for one academic year and attend an American high school. A consortium of reputable U.S.-based student exchange organizations that are approved by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs make the placements.
Host families sponsor and welcome the exchange students onto their home. They provide room, board and overall support, and share their everyday lives and culture with the student. The families are carefully chosen and are committed to making the exchange experience a memorable one for the student, organizing activities and events and including them in all aspects of their lives.
Host families represent the diversity of the United States and are from varied ethnic, religious, linguistic and socio-economic backgrounds. Students should be prepared to be placed with host families from diverse cultural backgrounds.
American Councils and other placement organizations make every effort to place students with families that will complement the student’s personality and interests.
Students will be a member of the host family. Students develop many relationships during the ten months on the YES program, however; the relationship with the host family is at the heart of the cultural exchange and will likely to be the most important of the year. All YES students need to possess a strong desire to be part of an American family and a willingness to accept responsibilities in their new home. These responsibilities will include (for both boys and girls) helping with household chores, keeping one's room clean, and abiding by all the host family rules, even if they differ from their Pakistani family's rules. YES students who expect to be treated like guests or given special consideration in their American families are unlikely to succeed in the program. General program policies and rules can be found on the website www.yespk.org or Facebook Page
Students are not allowed to be hosted by their relatives in the United States nor can they request to be placed with relatives. Interference from relatives in the United States can affect the student’s adjustment negatively.
A student cannot ask the Society for International Education (SIE) or the placement organizations to be placed with a Muslim or Pakistani family. The SIE Pakistan office does not interfere in the placement of any student.
Students are safe with the host families. Host families undergo strict background checks.

SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS ISSUES:

YES students can practice their religion very easily. The American families and schools can make the necessary accommodations. However, there may be limits. For example, students should not expect their hosts to prepare sehri or other traditional dishes. They can ask their host family if they can prepare it themselves.
Female students can wear their headscarves while in the United States and they may even see others wearing the hijab. Students can also wear traditional Pakistani clothes to school and when they go out. (Note: Girls will be exempted from all activities, sports etc. that require them to wear clothes that are against Islamic and Pakistani values.)
Halal meat can be purchased from the halal meat shops in the community or ordered for delivery. However, a student cannot demand host parents to serve them halal food. Students can buy halal meat from their own stipend and should be prepared to cook any additional or special meal they want to eat.

SCHOOL AND ACADEMICS:

Students cannot graduate from the U.S. high school nor does participation in the YES program provide the student with a high school diploma. The student will be enrolled in grades 10/11 and be given a mark sheet/transcript for the subjects they study and other achievement certificates and letters.

YES students promote mutual understanding, form lasting relations with their host families and communities. They also engage in community service and civic education activities that provide valuable life skills that can aid them in their future academic and professional experiences.
This will vary depending on the school system in which the student is enrolled. Students must discuss this with their own schools in Pakistan before applying for the program. If it is not possible to get admission to the next higher classes upon their return to Pakistan, students must be prepared to lose one year of academic study in Pakistan.
Students cannot remain in the United States after completing their program. Attempting to do so is illegal and in violation of program rules.

Academics History

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