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History of NSLI-Y

My experience abroad has shaped me into a global citizen and has taught me about differences in culture, languages, and social norms that are unique to different peoples. Through that uniqueness, we find similarities that connect us as all- NSLI-Y Hindi Summer Participant

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. NSLI-Y is part of a multi-agency U.S. government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans' ability to engage with people from around the world. In addition to the U.S. Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, and the National Security Agency offer a number of language-focused programs under NSLI. Learn more about NSLI-Y and other programs of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Since its inception in 2006, the NSLI-Y program has experienced dramatic growth in the number of languages taught and the number of scholarships offered. From 2006 through 2008, NSLI-Y offered study abroad opportunities in only two languages: Arabic and Chinese (Mandarin). In these three years, approximately 330 American high school students studied Arabic and Chinese on short-term, summer programs. Today, the program has expanded to offer summer and academic year programs to learn Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. By the end of the 2016-17 program year, over 5,000 students will proudly call themselves NSLI-Y alumni.

The program's history of growth is testimony to the broad interest American youth have in learning and using these critical world languages. NSLI-Y offers an exciting opportunity for all young people who have an interest in languages to experience language learning first-hand through immersion in other cultures. We invite U.S. high school students to submit an application for this dynamic and challenging language program.