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

Deadline Date:

Participants must:
• Be U.S. citizens
• Have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent
• Be 15-18 years of age at start of program
• Be enrolled in high school (including home school) at the time of application

Previous language study is not a requirement. Students of all levels of language ability are encouraged to apply.


There is no cost to apply. 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

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

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