National Security Language Initiative for Youth

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, Estonia, India, Jordan, Korea, Latvia, Moldova, Morocco, Oman, Russia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and other locations around the world. Visit the NSLI-Y website to find out more.

NSLI-Y is open to U.S. high school students who:

• Are U.S. citizens
• Have a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent
• 15-18 years of age at start of program
• Are 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!

Program Costs
NSLI-Y is a fully-funded scholarship. 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


Partners: AFS-USA, iEARN, American Cultural Exchange Service (ACES), AMIDEAST, Chinese Language and Cultural Center of Maine, Legacy International, Russian American Foundation (RAF), Stony Brook University, University of Delaware, University of Minnesota, and University of Wisconsin-Madison


U.S. high school students


Fully funded

Funded By:

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