FLEX and YES Stipend
The YES and FLEX scholarships provide all YES and FLEX students with a monthly stipend of $200 per month, beginning with the first month of their arrival. Should you encounter any problems regarding the stipend checks, please contact your AFS Liaison, who will connect you with the appropriate AFS Staff member.
The monthly stipend is a personal allowance that students may use to cover expenses related to socializing with American friends and to pay for personal items such as toiletries, movie tickets/excursions with friends, phone use, gifts, etc. The stipend is not intended for electronics, school or weather specific clothing, school lunches or to be sent home. Host families must provide three meals a day; lunch on school days must be provided and can be either a packed lunch or purchased at the school’s cafeteria.
Monthly stipend should not be saved up in order to purchase expensive electronics and/or to bring back to their family at home.
Interaction with American friends is essential in enabling students to carry out the most important goals of the program while in the United States. Students should be encouraged to spend the stipend in this way and should be discouraged from saving it with the intention of taking it back home. Hosts and local coordinators are encouraged to talk with AFS Support Volunteers should this become a problem.
A student should have direct access to their stipend and the host family is not responsible for holding onto or managing the student's stipend money. If a student is displaying severe budgeting concerns or if you have any other stipend-related concerns, please reach out to your AFS Liaison or Support Coordinator.
Host Family Incidentals Allowance
The scholarship also provides a specific amount of funding for each YES student, called an Incidentals Allowance; this allowance is intended to help host families cover the additional costs associated with their YES/FLEX student’s participation in school and community life. The funding for year-long and semester arriving YES and FLEX is the same, students arriving in August will each receive a $300 incidental allowance while YES semester students arriving in January will also receive $300 in incidental funding. Allowable expenses include, but are not limited to:
- school activity participation fees
- gym or school sports uniforms/equipment
- school event fees
- school and personal supplies
- weather specific clothing/shoes
The Incidentals Allowance should not be used to pay for vacation costs or electronics.
Please note that this allowance is not renewed should a student move to a new host family. If you receive a student into your home mid-way through the year/semester, please contact your AFS Liaison in order to know what funds remain in your YES/FLEX student’s incidental fund.
Purchases made with funds from the incidentals allowance must be submitted to AFS for reimbursement. We request that you make the purchases on your hosted student’s behalf and submit the Incidentals Allowance Expense Report with original receipts in order to be reimbursed. We encourage you to submit your expenses as they are incurred rather than wait until the end of the year for reimbursement. Reimbursement guidelines and the Incidentals Allowance Expense Report can be accessed via the AFS-USA website:
Opening a Bank Account – FLEX and YES Participants
As FLEX and YES students receive a monthly stipend, it may be advisable for your hosted participant to open a bank account if possible. Opening a bank account varies from region to region, however the hosted participant will likely need to present their passport and Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visiting (J-1) Status, also known as the DS 2019 form, as well as a piece of mail showing their host address.
It is best for a host parent to accompany the hosted participant in order to help answer any questions the bank might have and to show proof of address. Some banks may require additional documents like a W-8 or a W-9 form, which they will provide. Participants can open bank accounts without social security numbers. For more help or questions about opening a bank account, please contact your AFS Liaison.