The YES (Young European’s Seminar) is an event that encourages YFU students to reflect on their exchange year and consider how they can contribute to making the world a better place. It is an event that allows volunteers from all over the world to work side by side, learn and practice their organizational skills to bring their ideas to life. It is an event full of YFU spirit, youth community, and opportunities. In each and every dimension, youth empowerment characterizes the YES, and this is why from now on the YES will officially change its name to Youth Empowerment Seminar. Read on to learn about the history of the YES, and what it brings to the YFU community.
Empowerment is a process. It is about becoming aware of the world you live in and being able to adapt to it, to control your life and to claim your rights. By empowering yourself, you will be able to stand up for what you believe is right, find your own path and allow others to find theirs.
Since its inception in 1987, the YES has marked the end of the exchange year for tens of thousands YFU students and has involved thousands and thousands of dedicated volunteers in its organization.
Initially called the Year End Seminar, the YES has gradually become the Young European Seminar, a place where young Europeans could gather, learn from each other, reflect on their exchange year and their identity as European citizens. More than just being another YFU seminar, the YES became over time a place where YFUers could step back from their exchange year and become agents of change and world peace.
The YES is a place where young people reflect on their role in society. The seminar provides the students with tools and resources to help them reflect and feel inspired. After participating in the YES, students come home with more confidence, recognition, and motivation than ever before.
The YES is a continuation of the exchange experience and therefore every YFU student should have the opportunity to participate. In recent years, the seminar has begun to open up to students from outside Europe. Thus, every year international students are invited to the YES and since we believe today that every exchange student – wherever they come from – should be informed that they can make a difference, the YES is officially becoming global.
The YES becomes now the Youth Empowerment Seminar, an event that empowers youth and shows students that this is not the end of their exchange experience, it is just the beginning of a great journey, and that now that they have opened their hearts to the world, they will be able to spread a message of peace and unity around them, the message of a better future. All YFU exchange students who spend their year in Europe* are going to be invited, so that together we can fully live the YFU spirit.
*In 2021, since the event happens online, all YFU exchange students are invited to join.