Media Release: AFS EMPOWERS FUTURE CHANGEMAKERS OF MALAYSIA

News Release

19 January 2015, Kuala Lumpur – US Embassy of KL & Yayasan AFS Antarabudaya Malaysia (AFS Malaysia) is pleased to announce that a total of 45 promising Malaysian high school students from all around Malaysia has been chosen to participate in the Kennedy Lugar-Youth Exchange Study (KL-YES) Scholarship program to the USA.  KL-YES Program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs – US Department of State, in partnership with AFS Malaysia. The 6 months program offers full scholarship to Malaysian high school students, including students with physical disabilities. 

The 45 scholars including 1 hearing impaired student were selected from a group of 1000 applicants through a selection camp and interview process that involved representatives from Ministry of Education and US Embassy of KL. Atty Sulaiman, National Director of AFS Malaysia said, “The KL-YES exchange program creates wonderful opportunities for Malaysian high school students to learn about United States of America. The program does not only allow Malaysians to learn about the United States, but it also allows American’s to learn more about Malaysia!”

“Through programs like this, we hope to nurture our bright young ambassadors for leadership roles with hands-on intercultural experience and ample opportunities to develop their potential. This is part of our commitment to AFS mission to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world,” she added.

Since 2003, AFS Malaysia has sent over 415 Malaysian students on this program including 15 hearing impaired and 3 blind students.

On the KL-YES Scholarship Program, students will live with host families, attend a U.S. high school, engage in activities to learn about American society and values, acquire leadership skills, and help educate Americans about their countries and cultures.

“We’re delighted that Malaysian students will have the opportunity to experience life in another country,” said Azreen Md. Nasir, Assistant Program Manager. “The KL-YES exchange program offers everything that we would hope for in an intercultural exchange program: a stimulating intercultural learning component and a rich and immersive cultural experience.”

Participants will grow as individuals through this life-changing experience and will return to Malaysia as mature and independent young adults.

Students eligible to apply for the KL-YES scholarship must be currently enrolled in Form 5 or 17 years, be a citizen of Malaysia and have the equivalent of a B average or better without failing grades. The KL-YES scholarship program is also inviting students with disabilities and encourages their participation. Ministry of Education and AFS Malaysia works closely with the Division of Special Education and Malaysian Deaf Federation (MDF) to provide students with disabilities appropriate information and support as needed to enhance their experience in the US.

To apply for the KL-YES scholarship program, you may apply via online at www.afs.org.my. For more details, please contact AFS Malaysia at 03 7722 4866 / 7725 4966. The deadline for application is April 30th, 2015. 

About Yayasan AFS Antarabudaya Malaysia
AFS is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in over 50 countries around the world through independent, not-for-profit AFS organizations, each with a network of volunteers, a professionally staffed office, and headed up by volunteer board. AFS International provides worldwide leadership, coordination, support, quality control and development of AFS organizations and programs. AFS is dedicated to world peace and understanding of the diverse cultures of the world.

About Kennedy Lugar-Youth Exchange Study (KL-YES) Scholarship

The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program was established in October, 2002. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, along with the U.S. exchange community, recognized the importance of youth exchange as a key component to building bridges between citizens of the U.S. and countries around the world, particularly those with significant Muslim populations.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) to provide scholarships for high school students from countries with significant Muslim populations to study for one academic year in the U.S. YES students serve as “youth ambassadors” of their home country, promoting mutual understanding by forming lasting relationships with their host families and communities.

The program officially launched in Malaysia in 2003 in hopes to expand communication between the people of the United States and Malaysia in order to promote mutual understanding and respect. Since then, 415 Malaysian students have completed the YES program and now participate as alumni.

The YES program is administered in partnership with the U.S. Department of State by a consortium of non-profit organizations led by American Councils for International Education. In Malaysia, AFS Malaysia manages the YES program in partnership with the local U.S. Embassy, Public Affairs Office.


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