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. Find more information under the How to Apply tab above.


Questions? Need more info? Contact us at 866.790.2086 or


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About NSLI-Y 

NSLI Program in Beijing
"The NSLI-Y program is a great opportunity to not only discover new cultures, but to reflect on our own culture from a different perspective. It was easily one of the best experiences in my life."

- A NSLI-Y participant

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program was launched in 2006 to promote critical language learning among American youth. The U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with American Councils for International Education, awards and administers merit-based scholarships to high school students for participation in summer and academic year immersion programs in locations where the seven NSLI-Y languages are spoken. NSLI-Y immerses participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them invaluable formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.

NSLI-Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS-USA, iEARN, American Cultural Exchange Service (ACES), Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA), AMIDEAST, Legacy International, Russian American Foundation (RAF), and University of Delaware.

Goals of NSLI-Y 

  • To improve the ability of Americans to engage with the people of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish-speaking countries through shared language
  • To develop a cadre of Americans with advanced linguistic skills and related cultural understanding who are able to use their linguistic and cultural skills to advance international dialogue and compete effectively in the global economy
  • To provide a tangible incentive for the learning and use of foreign language by creating overseas language study opportunities for U.S. high school students
  • To spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures among American youth

Find out more about the programs offered for each language on the Languages and Programs page