Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. What is the cost of the Program?

The U.S. Department of State sponsors the whole program and covers all major expenses including airfare, U.S. visa fee, boarding and lodging in the United States, school tuition and monthly stipend of $125. Candidates will not bear any costs.

 

2.  Is there any flexibility in age?

No, applicants must be at least 15 years old and no more than 17 years on 1 August 2017.

 

3.  Can I apply and then withdraw at any stage from the program?

Yes, but it is highly discouraged because only a definite amount of scholars are selected and the selection is a costly process. Only apply if you are seriously intending to participate in the program from the very beginning and have your family s consent. It adds to our cost if an applicant applies just for “CHECKING OUT”.

 

4.  I am not a Bangladeshi national, am I qualified to apply?

No, the program participation is only for Bangladeshi nationals bearing a Bangladeshi passport.

 

5.  Where the students will live in the USA?

The students will live with a host family who volunteer to host exchange students and are not paid. It can be any state and students are spread across the country with the help of placement organizations. These organizations are approved by Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Bureau of the U.S. Department of State.

 

6. What are host families?

Average American families - usually from suburban settings - who are willing to host exchange students for a year are very carefully chosen not only to take care of the exchange students like one of their own, but also to expose them to the American lifestyle by encouraging total participation in the family. These families give special importance to try and make the exchange students year in the U.S. very memorable by organizing activities for them and giving them the opportunity to participate in events that average American teenagers participate in. The host families receive no monetary profit from hosting the exchange students, but they gain the company of the foreign exchange students who expose them to their own culture and values. That is what inspires them to host in the first place.

 

7. Where do host families come from?

The host families are as ethnically diverse as the population of the U.S. While English must be the first language spoken in the home, this does not preclude the fact that many families are from varied ethnic backgrounds, i.e. African-Americans, Asian-Americans, European-Americans and Hispanic-Americans. The percentage of white, Anglo-Saxon families grows smaller and smaller each year. Students should be mentally prepared for, and be open to the idea of being placed with host families from any type of ethnic and cultural background.

In addition, families of all religious backgrounds can be found in every American community. Most American families attend church and identify themselves with a particular religion. A Host family can be of any faith or religion that is represented in the demographics of the U.S., which includes, but is not limited to: Catholics, Jews, Mormons, Protestants, Baptists etc. However, Community Representatives ensure that female Bangladeshi students are not placed in families where there are boys over 13 years of age. The girls will also be exempted from all activities, sports etc. that require them to wear clothes that show the body and are against Islamic and Bangladeshi values.

8. How are the hosts selected?

The Placement Organizations select the host families, matching them with students of common interests. The potential host families are found through community service organizations, churches, athletic leagues, youth groups, foreign language classes, malls, county and state fairs, advertising, etc.

 

9. What will be my status at the host family?

A student will develop various relationships during the ten months of his/her stay in the US on the YES program. The relationship of the student with the host family is at the heart of the cultural exchange and is likely to be the most important part of the year. The placement organization staff makes every effort to place students with families that will complement their students personality and interests. All YES students need to possess a strong desire to be part of an American family and the willingness to accept distinct responsibilities in their new family. These responsibilities may include (for both boys and girls) helping with household chores such as cooking, washing dishes, laundry, and cleaning and abiding by all family rules, even if they differ from their natural family rules in Bangladesh. Having household support staff is extremely unusual in the U.S., therefore, all household chores are done by members of the family. Please note that American families and the American society in general, treat males and females equally; it is important to learn cultural and family norms and abide by them. The student must exhibit flexibility, tactfulness, politeness and maturity of character. YES students who expect to be treated like guests or be given special treatment in their American families are unlikely to excel in the program.

 

10. Can I live/visit with my relatives, home country friends who live in the U.S.?

No, students are not allowed to be hosted by their relatives in the USA, nor can they demand to be placed with relatives. Such visits are strongly discouraged during the program year, especially during the initial adjustment period, as they can interrupt the continuity of the relationship buildup with the host family and may diminish the exchange experience for the student and the host family. Any unauthorized visit will result in dismissal from the program.

 

11. Can you ensure I live with a Muslim or a Bangladeshi family?

No, the program aims to teach people about religious and cultural tolerance. So, a scholar cannot demand a Muslim or a family of the same ethnicity.

 

12. Can I pray and fast during the exchange in the U.S.?

Yes, you can pray, fast during Ramadan and practice your religion. American law guarantees freedom of religion, and American families in the past have cooperated closely with students to practice their religion.

 

13. Can I wear headscarf (Hijab) while in the U.S. and in U.S. School?

Yes, all female students can continue to wear their headscarves in schools, in the family, and whenever or wherever they choose to wear it. There are several American Muslims who do wear Hijab in accordance with the faith.

 

14. Can I get Halal food?

Halal food can be purchased from the Halal food shops in the community or ordered by mail; however, no student can demand it from the host parents, if they cannot afford to spend money in addition to the regular grocery expenses. Students can buy Halal food from their own pocket money and should be willing to cook their meals. Host families are not always expected to provide Halal food for a student.

 

 

15. Can I graduate from High School in the USA?

No, the program does not include a High School diploma. The students may be enrolled in grades 8, 9, 10 or 11in a U.S. school. They will be given a transcript for the subjects they have studied and other achievement certificates along with a letter describing the program and their accomplishments.

 

16. Do I miss a school year in Bangladesh?

It depends on the institution, the education system you are from and what grade you complete in the United States. For many of the cases, it is a NO but it is possible that you might repeat a year in Bangladesh. Upon your return you can get an equivalence certificate for that grade from the Education Board of Bangladesh to get admitted in University or other institutions.

 

17. What are my immunization requirements?

Immunization records are very important for every scholars. Other than some common immunization requirements, special vaccinations may be needed to be administered, depending on the host state requirement. Students also need to pass the TB skin test for attending the program.

 

18. Can I stay in the United States after the program end date?

It is impossible for a scholar to stay after the end of the program. It is against the program rules and anyone breaking the rule will be a federal offender. He or she will never be able to get a visa for United States.

 

19. Is there any requirement for J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa?

YES. Students go to USA with J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. It has a two-year homestay requirement that prohibits students from emigrating to the U.S. or receiving a U.S. work visa.

 
International Education and Resource Network - Bangladesh
Kha - 44 (3rd Floor), Shahjadpur, Gulshan, Dhaka - 1212, Bangladesh
+88 01718 208668 | info@iearnbd.org | yesinfo@iearnbd.org

 

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