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

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

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How to Apply

The application deadline for 2016-17 programs was October 29, 2015 at 4 PM Eastern Time and has passed. Interested applicants, parents, and educators can register to receive updates about NSLI-Y by submitting a name and email address into the “Receive NSLI-Y Updates!” section on the left hand panel of this page.

2016-2017 semi-finalists should ensure that their completed Medical Evaluation Form (linked to below) is submitted to American Councils by February 11, 2016 at 4 PM Eastern Time (please note that this deadline was extended from February 5, 2016). Please note that only those applicants who have been notified of their semi-finalist status should submit this form. Semi-finalists with an Academic Year preference for any one of their preferences should submit a completed Medical Evaluation Form for Academic Year Programs.

  • Click here to download the Medical Evaluation Form for 2016 Summer Programs
  • Click here to download the Medical Evaluation Form for 2016-2017 Academic Year Programs

View your 2016-2017 application here

Click Here

View a SAMPLE pdf of the application

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Download an Application Instructions document, with helpful tips for filling out the 2016-2017 application

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The following information is requested on the NSLI-Y 2016-17 Application Form:

Personal Information

  • Information about you, your family, and your school
  • Certification of Eligibility
  • Language Experience
    Include any languages you have studied and duration of study. If you have experience with any of the NSLI-Y languages that you list as a preference in your application, you must complete a self-assessment.
  • International Experience
    Include countries visited, duration, and reason for travel
  • Activities, Awards, and Interests
    Include information about activities, organizations, or athletics that you have participated in and awards/honors you have received

Written Portion

  • Letter to your prospective host family and language instructors
    Include a self-introduction, information about your family, friends, hobbies, etc. Consider formatting it as a letter. The letter is used as part of the evaluation process, but may also be shared with your future host family and/or language teachers.
  • Essays
    Essay topics vary year to year. Essays are used to determine your motivation for language learning and readiness to be a NSLI-Y participant.

Supplemental Documents

  • Parent Statement
    Used to determine academic motivation and promise as a NSLI-Y participant. Click here an informational document that may assist your parents/legal guardians in writing the parent statement
  • Teacher Recommendation
    Used to determine academic motivation and promise as a NSLI-Y participant.
    Click here to download an informational document that may assist teachers in writing your recommendation
  • Copy of Official Transcript
    Must include all high school courses and current GPA. Ninth graders and home school students have slightly different transcript reporting requirements; see the online application for more detail and relevant forms.
  • Photos of you, your family and friends
    Used to introduce you to a prospective host family (optional)
  • Placement Information
    Include information about allergies, religion, diet, disabilities, health conditions, etc. for homestay placement purposes. This information is not reviewed or considered during the selection process.

‚ÄčTerms and Conditions

Document to be read thoroughly and signed by you and your parents/legal guardians.
Click here to download the 2016-17 Terms and Conditions

Send signed Terms and Conditions to:

ATTN: NSLI-Y Processing (#1100T)
American Councils for International Education
1828 L ST NW STE 1200
Washington, DC 20036-5136

Send official grade transcripts to:

ATTN: NSLI-Y Processing (#1100G)
American Councils for International Education
1828 L ST NW STE 1200
Washington, DC 20036-5136

August
  • Ask a teacher if he or she would be willing to complete a recommendation for you.
  • Discuss the program with your parents. Review the application process together and ask them to complete the parent statement. Sign up to be notified when the NSLI-Y application becomes available by submitting a name and email address into the "Receive NSLI-Y Updates!" section on the left hand panel of this page..
  • Start your 2016-17 NSLI-Y application.
October 15
  • If you believe you will be unable to complete the application online, you must contact American Councils (nsliy@americancouncils.org) by this date to request alternative accommodations.
Mid October
  • Verify with your teacher that he or she knows the deadline for the recommendation is November 12 and that they have the proper teacher recommendation form. Remind them that American Councils is unable to accept recommendations after this date. Recommenders must use the online NSLI-Y recommendation form. Mailed, faxed, or emailed recommendations will NOT be accepted.
  • Review and complete your application. You are strongly encouraged to submit your application well before the deadline so that if you encounter any problems with submitting it, you will have time to contact American Councils for assistance.
October 29, 2015 (4:00 PM Eastern Time)
  • If you have not already submitted your application, do so today! Late applications will not be accepted, including those delayed by technical problems.
Note: Any technical problems with the application form should be reported by email to nsliy@americancouncils.org; NSLI-Y staff will be available to assist with technical problems as much as possible; however, for inquiries received on October 29, there is no guarantee that NSLI-Y staff can respond before the application deadline. NSLI-Y strongly encourages applicants to ask questions and submit applications well in advance of the application deadline.

Early November

  • Remind your parent/legal guardian and teacher to complete their statement or recommendation in time for the November 12 deadline. Parents/legal guardians and teachers must use the online NSLI-Y parent statement or teacher recommendation form. Mailed, faxed, or emailed recommendations will NOT be accepted.

November 12

  • Signed NSLI-Y Terms and Conditions and Official School Grade Transcripts are due. Both of these supplemental documents must be submitted in hard copy by mail and post-marked by November 12. Please carefully read the NSLI-Y Terms and Conditions in full before signing.

November 12 (4 PM Eastern Time)

  • Parent Statements and Teacher Recommendations are due. Remember that both of these supplemental documents must be submitted online.

December

  • American Councils will notify semi-finalists that they have been selected to move on in the selection process. Applicants not selected as semi-finalists will also be notified. Notifications will be emailed to the primary email address provided in your application.
  • Semi-finalists will receive the NSLI-Y Medical Evaluation Form when notified of their status in December. If you have been selected as a semi-finalist, schedule an appointment with your doctor for a physical. If you included an academic year preference in your application, schedule an appointment with your dentist, too. Make sure to bring your NSLI-Y Medical Evaluation Form for the doctor and dentist to complete with you.
  • Any semi-finalist who does not have a passport, or who does not have a passport that will be valid at least 6 months beyond your anticipated program’s end date should apply for a passport. It will be too late to wait until final notifications to apply for a passport. Any semi-finalist applying for a Russian program should apply for a new passport if their passport will not have at least 18 months validity AFTER their anticipated return to the U.S. Note that if you are selected for programs in China and India, your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may also be required to have a valid passport. Note that passport processing time is often lengthy.

December-February

  • An AFS-USA coordinator will be in touch with all semi-finalists to schedule their interviews. Interviews will take place in December, January, and early February. Please be sure to reply and schedule your interview as soon as you are contacted.

February 11 (4 PM Eastern Time)

  • Medical Evaluation Forms are due for semi-finalists; Ensure that the completed form is submitted to American Councils by February 11, 2016 at 4 PM Eastern Time (please note that this deadline was extended from February 5). Please note that only those applicants who have been notified of their semi-finalist status should submit this form. Semi-finalists will receive the Medical Evaluation Form by email in December 2015.
  • Semi-finalists with an Academic Year preference for any one of their preferences should submit a completed Medical Evaluation Form for Academic Year Programs.
  • Click here to download the Medical Evaluation Form for 2016 Summer Programs
  • Click here to download the Medical Evaluation Form for 2016-2017 Academic Year Programs

February

  • Semi-finalists should be prepared to submit passport information to NSLI-Y by late February but should not submit any documentation until requested.

April

  • Final decisions will be sent to all semi-finalists to the primary email address provided in their applications. All semi-finalists will be notified about their status by April 30, 2016.
  • Summer program finalists will have 7 days to accept or decline the NSLI-Y Scholarship and academic year program finalists will have 14 days. All finalists will receive information about their implementing organization and more detail about the location of their program with their notification of the scholarship. Finalists awarded a NSLI-Y Scholarship may not request a change to their program location or program schedule.

April-June

  • All finalists’ and alternates’ medical evaluation forms are reviewed by independent medical professionals. This process is initiated after an applicant is selected as a finalist or alternate. The medical review process may take an extended period of time. During this period, finalists and alternates may be asked to provide additional information or clarification related to the medical review. Results of the medical review will determine if a candidate meets medical requirements necessary for program placement and participation in NSLI-Y. As described in the Terms and Conditions, withholding relevant health information may be cause for disqualification or termination of the scholarship at a later date. NSLI-Y provides a wide variety of preparatory materials and support for NSLI-Y finalists.
  • Students without previous knowledge of their target language should expect to dedicate time prior to departure to study the target language; implementing organizations provide resources and guidance to study the language before departure. Preparation for NSLI-Y summer programs begins in the spring; academic year students typically begin their preparation during the summer.

NSLI-Y seeks applicants who represent the diversity of the United States. Students of all racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds are welcome to apply, as are students with disabilities. Previous language study is not required. Students of all language abilities are welcome to apply.

The selection process begins with a screening to ensure that all applicants meet the basic eligibility requirements. The applications are then reviewed by trained evaluators who assess the applicants’ enthusiasm for language learning, sense of character, demonstrated cultural awareness, and will to succeed. Maturity and readiness for a challenging academic and international experience are very important factors. Applicants are encouraged to clearly articulate how their participation in NSLI-Y and study of their preferred NSLI-Y language is linked to their future academic or professional goals. Note that the essay questions are a key part of the selection process.

In addition to the written portion of the application, students selected as semi-finalists will be asked to complete an interview with local program volunteers. A variety of questions will be asked in the interview, including questions related to the candidate’s interests in and goals related to language study in an immersion environment. Semi-finalists will be contacted on a rolling basis beginning in December to schedule interviews. NSLI-Y interviewers are typically volunteers with experience in and enthusiasm for international exchange. While the interview is a very important part of the NSLI-Y application process, an interview does not guarantee selection or non-selection. The interview is one component in the application package reviewed by trained evaluators. Semi-finalists should refrain from making any inference regarding their likelihood of receiving a NSLI-Y award based on comments shared by the NSLI-Y interviewer.

Following the semi-finalist interview, all application materials and interview reports are read by at least three individuals who have been trained to evaluate and score NSLI-Y applications. Evaluators are asked to assess applicants' level of commitment to language study and intercultural understanding, motivation for language learning, demonstrated cultural awareness, and ability to live and adapt to a new environment. Evaluators do not review a candidate's placement information, medical and forms, and optional photographs.

Final selection and notification will be completed by the end of April. Refer to the timeline for more information.

Click on the event calendar on the left side bar to see what informational webinars are currently available. If you are interested in viewing webinar slides, click on the following links: