Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen
  • 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 (for 2018 summer programs: birthdate between July 10, 1999 and June 10, 2003; for 2018-2019 academic year programs: birthdate between September 20, 1999 and June 30, 2003; birthdates will be updated for 2019-2020 programs)
  • Enrolled in high school (grades 9-12, including home school) at the time of application
  • Not an immediate family member of an employee of the U.S. Department of State who works in the Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs or an employee at a NSLI-Y administering organization whose duties involve the NSLI-Y program
  • Have not previously traveled outside the U.S. on a long-term (more than eight weeks) program sponsored by the Youth Programs Division of the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)
  • Previous NSLI-Y summer program participants or alumni of ECA-funded short-term programs are only eligible to apply for a NSLI-Y academic year program.


Click here to read additional eligibility criteria from the U.S. Department of State for the 2018-2019 program year.

Previous language study is not required. Students of all levels of language ability are welcome to apply. However, please note that the majority of NSLI-Y participants are at novice or intermediate levels at the start of the program.

The NSLI-Y program seeks applicants who represent the diversity of the United States. Students of all racial, ethnic, religious, gender identities, sexual orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds are welcome to apply, as are students with disabilities.  Given that NSLI-Y seeks to support qualified participants who may not otherwise be able to study language abroad, previous international travel or study experience may be considered in the selection process.

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

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