The public diplomacy initiatives include four meaningful and rewarding programs that bring international participants to the U.S. and/or send American students abroad. Programs include Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES), National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), and the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX). All four are programs of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Public diplomacy initiatives share a common mission with AFS of building a more just and peaceful world through international exchange.
Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
Initiated in 1983, the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program is jointly funded and managed by the U.S. and German governments. CBYX provides 350 scholarships for U.S. high school students, high school graduates in vocational fields, and young professionals for an academic year home-stay program. 360 CBYX scholarships are available for German students and young professionals to travel to the U.S. for an academic year program.
NSLI for Youth
The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program was launched in 2006 to promote critical language learning among American youth. The NSLI-Y program encourages a lifetime of language study and cultural understanding by providing over 650 summer and academic year merit-based scholarships. Participants receive intensive language instruction, live with a host family for all or part of the program, and participate in community service and a variety of cultural activities.
Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study
The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was initiated by the Department of State in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. It aims to build bridges of understanding between Americans and people in countries with either significant Muslim populations or strategic importance. Scholarships are also available for U.S. high school students to go abroad through the YES Abroad program.
Future Leaders Exchange
Established in 1992, the Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX) program strives to improve mutual understanding and develop and strengthen long-term relationships between citizens of the United States and citizens of the countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and supports the exchange of high school students from 21 Eastern European and Eurasian countries to the U.S. for a year long, academic home stay experience.
CBYX, NSLI-Y, YES Abroad and FLEX are programs of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs