I recieved a scholarship to Oman, and I feel like I should explain a little bit more about the scholarship. I'm going with the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad program, which is sponsored by the United States Dept. of State. Every year since 2003, they bring hundreds of students from over 40 countries with significant Muslim populations to study in the United States. This program was proposed after 9/11 as an intercultural learning opportunity for Americans and Muslims. Starting in 2009, as a pilot program, YES Abroad was formed. This year YES was implemented with full and permanant funding. This program sends 50 American students to countries with significant Muslim countries-- this year Oman, Morocco, Ghana, Mali, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Turkey. Starting in 2012-13, 55 scholarships will be offered with the addition of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Each one will receive 5 or 6 students who are high school students or recent graduates. Normally Egypt is included in this list but this year it was cancelled due to political unrest. YES Abroad is the name of the funding, but the sending programs include AFS, Amideast, and iEarn.
Students in the YES program act as cultural ambassadors and represent their home country, an incredibly important task in the aftermath of 9/11.
To learn more about YES or YES Abroad, check out http://www.yesprograms.org/.