About NSLI-Y

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. 

NSLI-Y is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world. Now more than ever, it is important that Americans have the necessary linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to promote international dialogue and support American engagement abroad. NSLI-Y aims to provide opportunities to American youth that will spark a lifetime interest in language learning. 

Previous language study is not required, and language learners of all levels are encouraged to apply. 

NSLI-Y Programs

NSLI-Y programs offer intensive language immersion in a variety of locations around the world. Scholarships are available for students to learn the following languages:

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

Programs may take place in the following locations:

  • China
  • India
  • Jordan
  • Korea
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkey
  • Other locations
    around the world


If you have a passion for learning languages and want to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, this program may be for you!

The application deadline for 2014-2015 programs has passed. Semi-finalists should ensure that a completed Medical Evaluation Form is post-marked by February 7, 2014.  Please note that only those applicants who have been notified of their semi-finalist status should submit this form. Click here to download the Medical Evaluation Form. Find more information under the How to Apply tab above.


Questions? Need more info? Contact us at 866.790.2086 or nsliy@americancouncils.org




Spread the word about NSLI-Y! Click here to complete an interest form to gain access to the NSLI-Y Alumni Outreach Toolkit.