With the application deadline approaching in January, American high school students have the amazing opportunity to take the plunge, use their passport, and apply to the State Department's competitive merit-based Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad program. This study abroad program gives promising American high school students an opportunity to push their boundaries and discover where study abroad can take them.
I was part of the YES Abroad class of 2009: one of 48 high school students from all walks of American culture to live with host families and study in local schools overseas. I spent my year in Mali learning French, making life-long friendships, and ultimately, discovering my passion.
In Mali, I had the opportunity to meet with people displaced by violence in different parts of the region. As a daughter of Vietnamese and prisoner... more »[view whole blog post ]