ISLAMABAD, Jul 17 (APP): American Ambassador in Pakistan David Hale awarded certificates of completion to 66 students from Punjab,Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and northern Pakistan who recently returned from a yearlong academic exchange in the United States.

Ambassador Hale also met with 105 Pakistani secondary school students who will spend the 2016 2017 academic year in the United States, said an embassy’s press release Sunday.

“I have seen firsthand how exchanges can generate new ideas, challenge old stereotypes, build mutual understanding, and spark new friendships,” Ambassador Hale said.

He said together, the American and Pakistani governments were committed to expanding their educational cooperation, fortifying Pakistan’s education system, and building connections between people.

The 171 students from all across Pakistan earned the
opportunity to participate in the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program on the basis of written applications, English proficiency tests, and interviews.
The YES Programme, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, gives secondary school students from 37 countries the opportunity to study at American high schools and live with American host families for one academic year.

In addition to attending academic classes, participants also
engage in extracurricular activities such as community service projects and youth leadership training.

The participants also act as cultural ambassadors, helping
Americans gain a better understanding of other countries and

The International Education and Resource Network (IEARN)
Pakistan selects YES programme participants in coordination with the American Embassy.

The YES programme is one of a wide range of exchange programmes supported by the American Embassy in Islamabad; every year, more than 1,300 Pakistanis travel to America on academic and professional exchange programmes.