NSLI-Y participants in Russia meet with the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov. 

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with American Councils and its partners, the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students (ages 15-18) to learn less commonly taught languages in overseas immersion programs.

Participants experience the dynamic culture and society of their host country, offering them both formal and informal language practice, and sparking a lifetime of interest in foreign languages and cultures. Previous language study is not required, and language learners of all levels are encouraged to apply.

NSLI-Y languages include: 

  • Arabic
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Hindi
  • Korean
  • Persian (Tajiki)
  • Russian
  • Turkish

NSLI-Y programs may take place in China, India, Jordan, Korea, Morocco, Oman, Russia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and other locations around the world. Visit www.NSLIforYouth.org to find out more. 

Contact email: nsliy@americancouncils.org

Contact phone: 1-866-790-2086


Participants must be U.S. citizens. Previous language study is not a requirement. Students of all levels of language ability are encouraged to apply. 

NSLI-Y Administration is unable to guarantee transfer credits directly with your home institution. Transferring academic credits from your NSLI-Y program will depend on the policies of the educational institution you attend at home. NSLI-Y recommends speaking with high school counselors or advisers to learn more about a school’s specific requirements. NSLI-Y implementing organizations may provide a certificate that you will be able to share with your home institution. Past participants have also found success using their NSLI-Y program experience to test out of lower course levels of their target language.

Program Length Details: 

Summer programs are six to eight weeks in duration and typically start in mid-June to early July and end in early to mid-August.

Academic year programs are 8 to 11 months in duration and typically begin in late August/early September and end in early summer.



There is no cost to apply. The costs not covered by the scholarship are:

  • Costs associated with obtaining a U.S. passport

  • Required medical examinations and immunizations

  • Extra pocket money while on program

The costs covered by the scholarship are:

  • Round-trip travel between the participant's home region and the overseas host city

  • Travel from participant's home region to the pre-departure orientation location

  • Tuition and academic materials

  • In-country support

  • Cultural activities

  • Pre-departure and re-entry orientations

  • Room and board

  • Secondary medical benefits

  • Visas

Funded by: 

Sponsor: Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Partners: AFS-USA, iEARN, American Cultural Exchange Service (ACES), Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA), AMIDEAST, Legacy International, Russian American Foundation (RAF), and University of Delaware


The deadline has passed for the 2014-2015 school year. 

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