YES Alumni lead the 10th anniversary with worldwide events throughout the year. read more >
YES Alumni lead the 10th anniversary with worldwide events throughout the year. read more >
Study in INDIA with YES Abroad
If you are a secondary school student in India interested in applying for the YES Program, please click here for more information.
India, or officially the Republic of India, is the world’s seventh largest country and second most populous. Formerly under British administration, India declared independence in 1947 in a peaceful revolution led by Mahatma Ghandi. India’s constitution declares it a sovereign, secular, democratic nation. The dominant religion in India is Hinduism, followed by Islam. India has the highest Muslim population of any non-Muslim majority country. While Hindi is the most commonly used language in day-to-day transactions and is the official language of the government, English is the language of business and higher education. India’s climate is driven by the presence of the Himalayas to the north and the Thar Desert in the northwest. The combination of these two geographical regions keep India very warm in the summer and cause the seasonal monsoons that occur from June to September.
Indian culture is driven by brilliant colors, spices and musical traditions. While traditions vary by geographic region, you will see men and women in both modern and customary dress wherever you are. However, as in most countries, residents of larger cities more commonly dress in modern, Western clothing. Food also varies greatly by region; in the north, a Tandoor grill, or Bhatti, is used commonly, and naan bread serves as a staple in the diet. In the south you will find spicier dishes, with more of a reliance on rice and lentils. While Bollywood film originated in Mumbai (the name comes from combining Bombay – Mumbai’s former name – and Hollywood) it is beloved around the country. Traditional Indian dance is still a prominent part of any celebration, and weddings especially.
Students will live with host families in order to experience a true immersion into Indian culture. Families are selected based on recommendations from members of the local community, and each is carefully screened by AFS staff and volunteers. Many families hold a position of influence within their community, and all are highly regarded by their relatives and neighbors. Hosting communities exist through the presence of a strong volunteer support network, with a local volunteer, or “liaison,” available to each student hosted in the community.
Students are supported through a strong network of AFS staff and volunteers both in the United States and in-country in India. Within the larger volunteer community, each student will have a local volunteer, or “liaison,” assigned to him or her, who is often either an alum of the YES program, a past host parent or a teacher at the student’s school. Each student will be given a cell phone after arriving, and will have the contact number for the AFS-India office. In the case of emergency, a Duty Officer is on-call 24/7 in both India and the U.S., and this number is made available to both students on-program as well as their parents.
Numerous cultural excursions will be organized by volunteers in the host community of Chennai that will frequently include participation by Indian YES Program alumni. Students will have the opportunity for deep cultural immersion through experiencing activities such as Indian dance, drama, music, and arts and crafts. Organized excursions will include a trip to the Taj Mahal in Agra, Delhi, as well as visits to the U.S. Embassy in India.
Students will attend one of two ‘public’ schools in Chennai, which are the equivalent of private schools in the United States. The language of instruction will be English, though Indian cultural topics will be covered through a vast variety of theme-based projects and classroom activities. Most Indian schools offer four curriculum tracks, and YES Abroad students are usually enrolled in the Arts track. Classes in this track include history, geography, Indian government, psychology, and a variety of humanities electives.
Political and Security Environment
Following its independence in 1947, India has maintained friendly relations with most nations, and is an ally of the United States. As one of the fastest-growing economies and the world’s second most populous country, India’s economic environment is changing rapidly. Though the country still faces grave problems with poverty, the middle class has grown dramatically over the last decade as work conditions and pay have improved. India holds a position as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and President Obama has announced his support for their induction as a permanent member. AFS-India operates through a very close relationship with the U.S. Embassy in India, and participants will have the opportunity to learn about Indian government relations through visiting the Embassy and meeting Indian government officials.
Basic Eligibility Requirements:
A limited number of applicants who are high school graduates at the start of the program will be considered for placement in the following countries: Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, South Africa, Oman, Thailand and Turkey
For the following countries, prior French skills are required: Mali, Morocco, Tunisia
Additional Eligibility Information:
The Youth Programs Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) seeks to make youth exchange programs funded by ECA available to a wide and diverse American audience. Also, ECA wants to prevent conflict of interest issues from arising with regard to Department employees who are involved in particular scholarships and exchange programs. Therefore, in addition to the specific requirements for each program, an applicant for ECA-funded youth exchange programs must meet the following eligibility criteria:
Click here for more information about applying to the YES Abroad program.
Studying abroad in high school can benefit your child in a multitude of ways. The decision to allow your child to participate can be difficult. There are numerous factors to consider when deciding whether or not YES Abroad is the right choice for your child. We compiled the information below to help answer some of the questions you may have. For further information, e-mail the YES Abroad Advisor or call us at (800) 237-4636 x2151.
Who will support my child while abroad?
YES Abroad participants are supported in the host country by established and reputable organizations that have competitively been awarded grants by the U.S. State Department to implement the program. While organizational structures vary, field staff and/or trained volunteers in the host country and here in the U.S. support participants, host families, and natural parents. While on the program, your child will have regular contact with a trained coordinator in their community who will provide support, assistance, and guidance, and will be in regular contact with a staff member here in the United States. All YES Abroad students are provided a local cell phone for emergency use after arrival in-country.
As a parent, how can I help promote the well-being of my child?
One of the ways you can help YES Abroad plan for your child’s successful participation in the program is by providing all relevant information regarding your child’s personal health and family history in the forms provided in the application. This information will not be evaluated as part of the selection process, but is considered in making country and host family assignments. Relevant information includes, but is not limited to, a diagnosis of or treatment for an illness, a physical disability, a learning disability, a behavioral or emotional disorder, a dietary restriction, or drastic changes in weight. Recent traumatic experiences or significant changes in the student’s natural family, including serious illness, death, divorce, incarceration, or custodial changes, can also influence a student’s participation. Living and studying abroad can be a stressful and challenging experience for people of any age. These stresses can be compounded by any existing physical or mental health issues or concerns at home that arise prior to the start of the program. In order to help YES Abroad staff make appropriate decisions about your child’s experience, please inform us of relevant situations as quickly as possible throughout the application process and program.
What is the involvement of the U.S. Department of State and embassies abroad?
YES Abroad is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Communities where YES Abroad students will be hosted are selected in cooperation with the U.S. Embassies and Consulates in the host countries. The Department of State and implementing organizations continuously monitor current events in each of the YES Abroad countries. All YES Abroad students are registered with the Office of Citizen Services at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the host country. Students will only be placed in countries that have been approved by the U.S. Department of State.
Where will my child be living?
All YES Abroad students live with host families who have been carefully screened and selected. Host families receive formal orientation and training to introduce them to cultural differences and to prepare them for the hosting experience. These families may or may not speak English. Local coordinators, who are proficient in English, provide support to participants and host families throughout the program. Students attend a school in their community alongside local peers.
What happens in the case of an emergency?
YES Abroad implementing organizations are prepared to respond to emergencies in the host countries. Each organization provides 24-hour assistance in the event of an emergency and facilitates appropriate medical treatment, including evacuation, if necessary. YES Abroad consults with the U.S. Department of State and external risk management organizations to monitor the safety of U.S. citizens in the host countries.
Will my child have medical coverage while abroad?
YES Abroad participants are provided with secondary medical coverage to ensure that, in the case of an emergency, students will be treated as soon as possible in the host country.
What costs are covered?
The YES Abroad scholarship covers costs related to: room and board for the In-Person Selection Event (for semi-finalists); round-trip airfare, room and board for the Pre-Departure Orientation (for finalists); round-trip airfare between the participant’s home region and community abroad (for finalists); in-country support; cultural activities; school tuition (where applicable); room and board with a host family; secondary medical benefits; and visa fees.
What costs are not covered by the scholarship?
Some costs that you can expect to incur from your child’s participation in the program include: costs associated with obtaining a U.S. passport; required medical examinations and immunizations; and extra pocket money while on program.
How will YES Abroad help my child prepare to go abroad?
YES Abroad provides a wide variety of support mechanisms for students preparing to go abroad. Preparation for the YES Abroad experience begins shortly after the finalists are selected, with activities that may include online resources, handbooks, conference calls, opportunities to speak with YES Abroad and YES alumni, and local events with other exchange students. Participants are also encouraged to be proactive in engaging in their own research on the host country and its culture. Prior to departure, students attend a national orientation in Washington, D.C. that addresses how to stay healthy and safe while living in the host country.