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General Program Information
Why is NSLI-Y a good opportunity?
The U.S. Department of State’s NSLI-Y program is an overseas immersion experience for American youth. The program awards scholarships to U.S. teens for rigorous overseas critical language immersion programs at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. NSLI-Y aims to provide a tangible incentive for the learning and use of foreign language, which is increasingly important in our interconnected world. In addition to rigorous language instruction, NSLI-Y programs allow participants to learn more about their host culture through living with a host family, participating in cultural activities, as well as fostering opportunities to connect with host country peers. NSLI-Y participants act as citizen ambassadors by supporting American engagement abroad, promoting international dialogue, and representing the diversity of the United States.
Round-trip travel between the participant’s home city to the pre-departure orientation and the overseas host program location
Pre-departure, arrival, and end-of-stay orientations
Tuition and related academic program costs including preparation, support and testing
Educational and cultural programming, including program travel
In-country staff support
Host family and other housing accommodations, as relevant
Three basic meals each day
Visas for entrance to and exit from the host country/location
Secondary/supplementary health coverage for accidents and sickness
Stipend for local transportation and incidentals
What costs are not covered by the NSLI-Y scholarship?
The costs not covered by the scholarship are:
Costs associated with obtaining a valid U.S. passport (for the participant or legal guardians if required for a visa application) or travel to an embassy for visa application, if necessary
Required medical examinations and immunizations for the NSLI-Y medical review or visa requirements
Pocket money for personal items
Excess baggage fees
How does NSLI-Y support diversity?
The NSLI-Y program is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility and strives to reflect the diversity of the United States. See more here.
NSLI-Y does not discriminate on any basis, including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, political opinion, or economic and social standing. The program welcomes applications from all eligible students and seeks to support all students through the application process and while on the program.
Previous language study is not required. Students of all levels of language ability are welcome to apply.
Preference is given to applicants who:
Have not had opportunities to travel or study abroad
Have not participated in an overseas exchange program
Do not have access to critical language resources in their home community
Live in a U.S. state or U.S. territory underrepresented in study abroad
Identify with a community that is underrepresented in study abroad
Would not otherwise be able to study abroad.
Have not lived abroad for six months or more during the past five years
Applicants are encouraged to educate themselves about the laws and social customs of host countries, as each NSLI-Y country has its own laws, social customs, and norms. If you have questions or concerns about applying for NSLI-Y, please contact email@example.com.
What is a typical day like on a NSLI-Y program?
NSLI-Y experiences vary across program sites and from year to year. In general, NSLI-Y summer programs are very structured. During the summer, participants typically have breakfast with their host families or in their group housing, commute to their local host institution, and attend language class for 3 to 4 hours each morning. Participants have lunch with peers, and spend afternoon hours attending additional language classes, conversing with language partners, participating in cultural activities, and/or completing assignments or projects. In the evening, participants often spend time with their host families and complete homework.
The daily experience of academic year participants varies greatly from one program to another. All academic year participants receive at least 10 hours of formal language instruction per week at a local school or post-secondary institution and may take other academic or enrichment classes in the target language. Some programs place participants with host families for the full academic year, while others combine shorter host family stays with monitored dormitory or group housing arrangements. Participants often spend time working on semester and/or year-long projects.
What role do the U.S. Department of State and non-profit organizations play in organizing and implementing NSLI-Y?
NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Administration and implementation of NSLI-Y is a collaborative effort. ECA funds the program, establishes the program goals and objectives, selects the host locations and languages offered, and provides oversight of all program activities. American Councils provides overall administration of the program including managing recruitment and selection, alumni activities, monitoring and evaluation efforts, and ensuring grant compliance. Implementing organizations, including a placement team at American Councils, work with overseas partner organizations to plan and implement NSLI-Y programs. Students interact with the American Councils administration team during the application and selection period. Finalists work with their assigned implementing organization prior to departure and during the NSLI-Y program abroad. American Councils engages with alumni to coordinate language testing, surveys, and involvement in the NSLI-Y alumni network.
What effect will participating in a NSLI-Y academic year program have on my high school graduation in the U.S.? Can I get academic credit for NSLI-Y?
Graduation requirements vary from school to school, so you should discuss your plans to participate in NSLI-Y with your guidance counselor. The primary focus of NSLI-Y is language learning, and most classes will be language classes, though students may also have an opportunity to attend academic classes in the target language. Your high school will make the final decision on whether to grant academic credit. You should take into consideration that such U.S. specific subjects as English, World History, etc. are unlikely to be offered at an equivalent level or offered at all. You might want to arrange to take certain required courses prior to, or after your participation in the NSLI-Y program.
Please note that NSLI-Y is a rigorous immersion program and requires your full attention and effort; participants should not plan on completing academic study or internships for their U.S. schools while on program.
How does NSLI-Y handle my personal health information?
NSLI-Y follows guidelines set for in the federal law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. You can read more in our Notice of Privacy Practices here.
What is my expected level of language proficiency at the end of a NSLI-Y program?
Previous language study is not required for participation in NSLI-Y. The program provides extensive formal and informal language practice in an immersive setting. Participants are expected to complete all assignments and projects, utilize informal language learning opportunities, and participate in all required exams and oral proficiency interviews. For information on the average gains in language proficiency of a NSLI-Y participant, please review the statistics and graphs here.
Will participants be alone on the program or with a group?
Participants will travel to their host locations in groups. Participants will typically attend language classes and planned activities together but may spend free time with their host family and local friends. All participants will have a resident director and/or local coordinator in the same or nearby community who will provide guidance and support for the duration of the program.
How much independence will I have while participating in NSLI-Y?
As NSLI-Y is designed for youth aged 15-18, participants should not expect a lot of independence. NSLI-Y is a structured language-learning experience. Participants attend language classes and cultural activities with others in their group. In the evenings and on weekends, participants have planned activities, study time, and/or time with their host families. Participants will have a curfew and should not expect to travel independently or for sightseeing while on program. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions form for more information about program policies.
Can I use the NSLI-Y Scholarship for a study abroad program of my choosing?
No, the NSLI-Y scholarship is not transferrable. Scholarships are offered for a specific NSLI-Y program and requests to change language, location, dates, or program will not be considered. The placement of selected students is at the discretion of NSLI-Y administration and implementing organizations based on program preferences indicated on the application form, proficiency in the target language, and other considerations.
What safety and security measures does NSLI-Y take to support students?
Student safety and security are the highest priority for NSLI-Y. The U.S. Department of State, in consultation with U.S. embassies overseas, approves all NSLI-Y host locations and communities. The U.S. Department of State and the implementing organizations continuously monitor U.S. Department of State travel advisories, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health notices, events in host locations and are in contact with U.S. Embassies and missions. All NSLI-Y students are registered at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the host location. During their pre-departure orientations, students receive safety awareness training, which includes discussions of how to address risks specific to the host location. Living with a host family or in a closely monitored dormitory setting also increases student safety. It’s important for families and students to recognize that there is inherent risk in study abroad and international travel.
Read more about safety and security on the For Parents page.
Are there any post-program requirements?
Yes, NSLI-Y participants are required to complete post-program language tests. Participants are expected to complete several post-program surveys from their implementing organization and American Councils for International Education.
NSLI-Y alumni are strongly encouraged to share their NSLI-Y experience with their home community and school, using the NSLI-Y Alumni Outreach Toolkit. Alumni are encouraged to be active members of the NSLI-Y Alumni Association to contribute to the ongoing development of NSLI-Y.
Can I talk to NSLI-Y Alumni and learn more?
Absolutely! The NSLI-Y Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages are great tools for finding out more information. You can also visit the Ask NSLI-Y alumni Facebook group to communicate with alumni and other applicants about application tips, cultural and religious norms in your potential host locations, language learning advice, and ideas about what to do after high school. You can also apply for the NSLI-Y Virtual Applicant Mentorship Program, an initiative that pairs NSLI-Y applicants with alumni who can help guide them through the application process and beyond. Interested applicants can learn more and apply here.
You may also be interested in visiting the NSLI-Y Interactive site for participant/alumni stories and virtual events.
What are the similarities and differences between NSLI-Y, YES Abroad, and CBYX?
NSLI-Y, FLEX Abroad, YES Abroad, and CBYX are programs of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that support U.S. youth to live and study in another country. Click here to learn more about the similarities and differences between the programs.
For 2024-25 programs, applicants may submit one common application for NSLI-Y, FLEX Abroad, and YES Abroad, allowing them to apply to one or more of these programs. In this single application, applicants will indicate which program(s) they wish to apply for. Applications will be independently reviewed by each program. An applicant’s status for one program will not be impacted by their status with another program. If selected for multiple programs, applicants will only be able to accept one scholarship award. To complete the combined application, please follow this link.
Which NSLI-Y language and/or program is a good fit for me?
Take our interactive quizzes for a suggestion of which NSLI-Y program may be a good fit for you. These quizzes are intended to be a fun exercise to identify a program that you may be interested in exploring, but we encourage all applicants to select the language(s) that they are most passionate about studying. (Applicants should not select their language and duration preferences solely based on the result of these quizzes).
Do students need to have a background in one of the NSLI-Y languages to be eligible to apply?
Absolutely not. Prior language study is not required but students must be passionate about language learning. A goal of NSLI-Y is to increase the number of Americans studying and speaking critical languages, so students with all levels of language experience and ability may apply. Students who have not had previous exposure to the target language are encouraged to apply.
Does NSLI-Y prefer students with previous experience in a NSLI-Y language?
No, NSLI-Y arranges programs for students with varying levels of proficiency in the target language. Previous language study is not required to apply for NSLI-Y. Applicants with previous knowledge of or proficiency in the target language are not given preference in the selection process. All applicants are encouraged to discuss their interest and commitment to language learning in their essay responses.
All participants will be required to participate in pre-program language learning activities and complete assignments or assessments as needed in preparation for the program. Preparation for NSLI-Y summer programs begins in the spring and for academic year programs – during the summer.
Are students with advanced skills in a NSLI-Y target language eligible to apply?
Yes, however since most NSLI-Y participants are at novice or intermediate levels, the student’s class placement and overall experience may differ from that of others in the group.
Are home-schooled students eligible?
Yes, home-schooled students are eligible. There is a different transcript form (included within the online application) for home-schooled students to complete and submit. The recommendation form must be completed by an adult who is not related to the student, but who knows the student well and can attest to their readiness to be an exchange student.
I graduate from high school in December 2023. Am I still eligible for the 2024-25 NSLI-Y program?
Yes, graduating seniors who will complete high school between December 2023 and June 2024 are eligible to apply for the NSLI-Y program, provided they meet age and other eligibility requirements.
Are non-U.S. citizens, including permanent residents, eligible to participate in NSLI-Y?
No, only U.S. citizens are eligible to participate.
I have dual citizenship; I am a U.S. citizen and a citizen of another country. Is that a problem?
Applicants must have U.S. citizenship to be eligible for NSLI-Y. If selected, the NSLI-Y finalist must travel on a U.S. passport.
Note that the issuance of a visa to travel to a NSLI-Y location is at the sole discretion of the host country/location. Holding citizenship for another country in addition to the U.S. may impact one’s visa application. Please be sure to note your dual citizenship on your NSLI-Y application.
Am I eligible if I have already participated in NSLI-Y?
Past NSLI-Y participants in summer programs which took place overseas are eligible to apply for an academic year program but are not eligible to apply for another summer program. Successful alumni of summer programs will be considered more competitive if they apply for an academic year program in the same language (except for Hindi, Indonesian and Persian which have no academic year programs). NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive and Virtual NSLI-Y alumni are eligible to apply for a summer or academic year NSLI-Y program if they meet other eligibility requirements. Alumni of an academic year program that took place entirely virtually are eligible to apply for another academic year program if they meet other eligibility requirements.
Strong preference is given to those who have not previously participated in an overseas exchange program or lived abroad for six months or more during the past five years.
I would like to study the language of my birth country. Is this an appropriate reason to apply for NSLI-Y?
Students who are interested in studying the language of their birth country or cultural heritage are welcome to apply for NSLI-Y. These applicants should reflect on how participation in NSLI-Y and study of their preferred NSLI-Y language is linked to their future academic or professional goals. Students should not plan or expect to visit or seek out relatives or return to the city of their birth during the program. Birthplace and dual citizenship may be considered by the relevant foreign government authorities in the visa application process.
Selection preference may be given to those who do not have access to critical language resources in their home community.
Timeline and Preparation
What happens after I submit my application?
After you submit your application electronically, you will receive a confirmation email from American Councils.
In December, American Councils will notify you if you were selected as a semi-finalist. All semi-finalists will be invited on a rolling basis for an interview which will take place between December and February.
Interviews for the 2024-2025 cycle will be conducted in-person or virtually.
Semi-finalists are strongly encouraged to apply for a passport by January if they do not currently have one. Those who already have a passport should ensure that it is valid for at least six months after the intended date of return to the United States.
Semi-finalists will be provided with a Medical Evaluation form at the time of semi-finalist notification; the form will be due on February 23, 2024.
Visit the How to Apply page for a calendar of important dates and more information about the application and selection process.
Please note that American Councils and the U.S. Department of State will not discuss individual determinations about the application review.
My high school graduation is in mid-June. If the NSLI-Y program that I am assigned to begins before my graduation, can I join the program a few days late?
No, all NSLI-Y participants must attend the pre-departure orientation and travel with their program group to the host location. Individual school and activity schedules vary widely, and NSLI-Y cannot make exceptions for students who have scheduling conflicts. If your graduation or another important event conflicts with your NSLI-Y program dates, you will have to make a choice about participating in one or the other.
When and how does the NSLI-Y Medical Review take place?
Semi-finalists will receive a medical evaluation form at the time of semi-finalist notification. Medical evaluation forms should be submitted through a secure portal by February 23, 2024.
All finalists’ and alternates’ medical evaluation forms are reviewed by independent medical professionals. This process is only initiated after an applicant is selected as a finalist or alternate. The medical review process may be lengthy. 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 for program placement and participation in NSLI-Y. As described in the Terms and Conditions, delayed responses in the medical review process and/or withholding relevant health information may result in cancellation of the NSLI-Y scholarship or dismissal from the program.
Note that alumni of NSLI-Y summer programs are not guaranteed medical clearance for a NSLI-Y academic year program.
Will there be any kind of language preparation before departure?
Finalists will receive a variety of pre-departure information, which will include language study materials. Finalists must participate in various required pre-program preparation activities, as determined by the implementing organization.
Go to the How to Apply page for more information about the program timeline.
Where will orientations take place, how long will they last, and what will they cover?
Each implementing organization conducts its own orientations for NSLI-Y participants. While locations and durations vary, pre-departure orientations are held in a U.S. departure city and usually last one or two days. Finalists will be informed of the specific orientation location at the time of finalist notification.
The purpose of the orientation is to prepare students to be safe and successful exchange participants. Topics generally include information on health and safety, program information and schedules, program rules and guidelines, an overview of the host culture, how to deal with culture shock, the participant role as a citizen ambassador, and teambuilding activities. Attendance at the pre-departure orientation is mandatory for all NSLI-Y participants. While parent(s)/guardian(s) are included in various preparation activities, the pre-departure orientation is for participants only. Family members are not permitted to attend the in-person pre-departure orientation.
Will the 2024-2025 program take place in-person?
NSLI-Y is planning and preparing for 2024-25 programs to take place overseas if conditions allow.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in coordination with U.S. embassies in NSLI-Y host countries, American Councils for International Education, and implementing organizations, monitor global and local conditions to determine the status of each program site. If these conditions are not suitable for an in-person program, a virtual program may be offered.
How does NSLI-Y make decisions about program status and format?
The health and safety of participants and staff is our priority. Decisions regarding the format and status of NSLI-Y programs are made with consideration of U.S. Department of State travel advisories, CDC guidance, U.S. Embassy input, logistical issues (availability of flights, visas, medical care, housing, as well as travel restrictions and quarantine rules), and our ability to implement a quality exchange experience.
Participants will be required to agree to and abide by COVID-related policies and regulations specific to each program site. Participants will be notified of specific host country and host institution requirements, which may include quarantines, COVID-19 testing, masking, and social distancing.
NSLI-Y’s COVID-19 mitigation procedures may be stricter than current CDC recommendations to comply with host country/host institution requirements and to prevent the spread of COVID to the greatest extent possible, as outbreaks on program have a significant negative impact on program participation and learning outcomes.
What has been the NSLI-Y response to COVID?
NSLI-Y has implemented rigorous COVID mitigation plans, which allowed for hundreds of NSLI-Y participants to successfully complete their program overseas.
Participants will be required to agree to and abide by COVID-related policies and regulations specific to each program site. Participants will be notified of host country and host institution requirements, which may include quarantines, COVID-19 testing, masking, and social distancing.
The COVID vaccine will be required to participate in NSLI-Y; medical and religious accommodations will be considered. The COVID vaccine will be required because host country/location COVID instances are typically higher than in the U.S., healthcare in host country/locations is different than in the U.S., the host country/location and/or host institution may require the vaccine, and outbreaks on program have a significant negative impact on program participation and learning outcomes.
NSLI-Y’s COVID mitigation procedures may be stricter than current CDC recommendations to comply with host country/host institution requirements and to prevent the spread of COVID to the greatest extent possible.
What can I do to minimize my risk of exposure to the virus?
What would happen if I were diagnosed with COVID-19 overseas while on NSLI-Y?
If a NSLI-Y participant is diagnosed with COVID-19 while on a program overseas, program staff would facilitate medical care by a vetted health care provider. Participants need to comply with local policies for treatment and may be required to undergo testing, treatment, or enter quarantine at a prescribed treatment center. Program staff will have no ability to influence these policies and may not be allowed to accompany or visit the participant during treatment. Return travel may be delayed and unaccompanied if participant has COVID-19 at the time of scheduled departure.
NSLI-Y’s COVID-19 mitigation procedures may be stricter than current CDC recommendations to comply with host country/host institution requirements and to prevent the spread of COVID to the greatest extent possible.
Travel and Visas
How do I get a passport?
All selected participants will need a valid U.S. passport. If you already have a passport, it must be valid for at least six months after the intended date of return to the U.S. For information on obtaining a passport for the first time or renewing, please visit travel.state.gov.
Passport processing time is lengthy. Applicants should consider applying for passports at the time of application to ensure that passports will be in hand by the end of February 2023.
Please note: If you are traveling to India, Indonesia, or China, your parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may be required to have a valid passport or provide residency documentation.
When do I need to have my passport?
A passport is not required to apply for NSLI-Y, but will be needed for travel. Passport processing time is lengthy, so applicants should allow ample time when submitting their application, and be prepared to submit valid passport information to NSLI-Y by late February 2024. Applicants who already have a passport should check when their passport expires. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the intended return to the U.S.
Finalists must have their valid U.S. passports to begin the visa application process and to participate in the program. The length of time to complete the visa process varies and can sometimes take months. Finalists’ passports may be needed for the duration of the visa application process, so they may not be able to travel internationally during this pre-program period.
How do I get my visa?
If selected for NSLI-Y, you will be assigned to an implementing organization. This organization will provide you with detailed instructions about the visa process for the country where your NSLI-Y program will take place. You will not need to apply for a visa until you are instructed to do so. Please remember that only U.S. citizens are eligible for NSLI-Y programs, and NSLI-Y students must travel with a U.S. passport.
What are the program dates?
Program dates and locations will be finalized in spring 2024. If you are selected for NSLI-Y, you will be notified in March or April and receive a program description that will include program dates and the placement location. Typically, summer programs will depart in mid to late-June and return in early to mid-August. Academic year programs typically depart in August or September and return in May or June. Note that program dates and locations are subject to change each year.
How will I get to my host location?
From the pre-departure orientation location, you will travel on a chaperoned flight with the rest of the students in your group to your host location. Both domestic travel from your permanent residence and international airfare will be covered by the NSLI-Y scholarship. You must travel to and from the host location with your program group. Exceptions will not be made for individual scheduling conflicts.
Will I be able to travel independently while on program?
NSLI-Y participants will not be allowed to travel independently while on program. Participants who travel independently will be considered for program dismissal. Participants should not expect to travel with host families but if such an opportunity arises, it not interfere with program activities and must be approved by the implementing organization in advance. Overnight excursions are not guaranteed. Please refer to the Travel Policies section in the NSLI-Y Terms and Conditions form for more information.
What kind of vaccines will I need?
The COVID vaccine will be required to participate in NSLI-Y; medical and religious accommodations will be considered. The COVID vaccine will be required because host country/location COVID incidences are typically higher than in the U.S., healthcare in host country/locations is different than the in U.S., the host country/location and/or host institution may require the vaccine, and outbreaks on program have a significant negative impact on program participation and learning outcomes.
Your assigned implementing organization will inform you if any other vaccines are required for entry to your host location or at your host school.
NSLI-Y programs typically feature homestays with host families that have been carefully screened and selected. Some programs place students in host families for the full program duration. Other programs place students in well-monitored dormitories and assign them to host families for weekends or for a segment of the program. Resident directors or local coordinators provide support to participants and host families throughout the program.
Do host families speak any English?
Host families typically do not speak much, if any, English. Students will be expected to use the target language at home. The homestay experience is sometimes challenging, particularly in the beginning, but many participants say that it is the most rewarding part of the NSLI-Y experience.
Does each student live by herself/himself with the host family?
Typically, only one NSLI-Y student lives with each host family, but in some cases, two NSLI-Y students may be placed with one host family.
How are host families selected?
Host families are chosen through a careful selection process with assistance from the host institution, host community partners, and/or volunteers. Prospective host families are interviewed in their homes and must provide references. All host families receive materials to sensitize them to cultural differences and to prepare them for the hosting experience. Implementing organizations do their best to match host families and students based on the host family’s application materials and the placement information students provide in their NSLI-Y application. The most important criteria for selecting a host family are that the family can provide a safe environment and has a genuine interest in cultural exchange.
It’s important for NSLI-Y participants and their parent(s)/guardian(s) to remember that each host family experience is unique; NSLI-Y does not require that host families have children.
What is the host family experience like?
It’s important for NSLI-Y participants and their families to remember that each host family experience is unique.
Like in the United States, the composition of host families varies; there is no “standard” host family. Flexibility, on the part of the participant and their parent(s)/guardian(s), is critical for a successful host family experience. Other considerations regarding NSLI-Y housing accommodations:
Students will be provided with their own bed, but not necessarily their own bedroom.
Students may or may not have host siblings.
If students have host siblings, they may or may not be the same gender or of a similar age.
Some students may be the only NSLI-Y student with the host family; others may be placed with another NSLI-Y student with the same family.
Students may commute independently to their host school from their host family. Efforts will be made to ensure a reasonable commute (approximately 60 minutes each way); however, given that some NSLI-Y programs are hosted in large cities, there may be unforeseeable delays.
Host families may or may not have internet connection in their homes. Internet availability may be unreliable and will vary among and within host cities and countries.
Host families typically do not speak much, if any, English.
Finalists and their parent(s)/guardian(s) are not given the option to designate preferences for host family composition.
What if I have relatives in the country I am assigned to? May I live with them or visit them?
Participants are not permitted to live with friends or relatives in the host community. Visits might be permitted during academic year programs only if formally requested and approved in advance by your implementing organization, but must not conflict with scheduled program activities, including language lessons.
May my parents or friends visit me while I am on the program?
Visits from family, home country friends, and relatives are not permitted during summer programs and strongly discouraged for academic year programs. Family visits during academic year programs require advance permission from the implementing organization. Such visits can interrupt the continuity of the relationship with the host family and diminish the exchange experience. Participants and their families must follow the requirements of their implementing organizations. See the NSLI-Y Terms and Conditions for more information.
May I request to be placed in a certain city or country?
No, you may not request to be placed in a certain city or country. Program locations and student placements are determined at the discretion of NSLI-Y administration and the implementing organization.
Can I request changes to my assigned NSLI-Y program?
No, individual requests for host family composition, placement in the host community, travel arrangements, and adjustments to program dates or program locations will not be granted.
May I apply to multiple programs in different languages?
NSLI-Y applicants specify language and duration preferences in their application. Applicants are only required to designate one preference for language and duration but have the option to designate two. Applicants cannot indicate preferences for implementing organization or program location. A finalist’s placement with a specific implementing organization or in a specific host location is determined by NSLI-Y staff.
For 2024-25 programs, applicants may use one common application to apply for NSLI-Y, FLEX Abroad, and YES Abroad. Applications will be reviewed independently by each program. An applicant’s status with one program will not impact their chances of selection for another program. While students may apply for multiple exchange programs, they will only be able to accept one scholarship award.
I am having technical difficulties with the online application. What should I do?
If you have technical difficulties, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 380-6552. NSLI-Y staff will be available to assist you between 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday. Contact American Councils promptly if you encounter a problem, well before the application deadline. There is no guarantee that American Councils staff will be able to respond to last-minute requests for technical assistance on or near the deadline date.
Is there any way to submit a paper application or an application in another form?
All applications and recommendation forms must be submitted online, except in rare cases in which the applicant can demonstrate that this requirement presents a significant impediment to applying for a NSLI-Y scholarship. Applicants who need to make alternative arrangements for submission of their application must do so by October 20, 2023. Applicants who need further assistance may contact American Councils at (800) 380-6552 or email@example.com.
How do I submit my academic records/transcripts?
Please refer to the application for specific instructions about submitting required documents. Transcripts may be unofficial and should be uploaded to the application no later than November 2, 2023. If you are having trouble obtaining a transcript, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If my parents are divorced, do they both need to sign the Terms and Conditions form?
All legal guardians who have full or partial custody of the applicant must agree to and sign the Terms and Conditions.
What should I do if my latest grades will not be posted until shortly after the application deadline?
Applications without transcripts will not be considered, so be sure to submit your most recent transcript by the deadline specified in the online application instructions, even if the current semester grades are not available.
Can I view my application after it has been submitted?
Yes, to view your submitted NSLI-Y application, go to the application website and enter your username and password. After your application has been submitted, you can continue to access your application and monitor the status of your transcript, parent statement, and recommendation, but you will not be able to make any changes to the application.
How will I find out if I have been selected for a scholarship?
To find out more about the selection process and timeline, visit the How to Apply page.
All applicants will receive an application status update by email in December.
Finalist notifications are sent on a rolling basis beginning in early March. All semi-finalists will be notified of their status by April 21, 2024.
Please note that all contact regarding your NSLI-Y application will be sent to the primary email address listed in your application.
Please do not call or email American Councils or other implementing organizations to find out if you have been selected; NSLI-Y staff will notify you as soon as information is available.
Recommendation and Parent/Legal Guardian Statement
If I have already submitted my application, can I change the name and contact information in the Letter of Recommendation and Parent Statement sections?
Yes, applicants can change the information they input within the Recommendation and Parent/Legal Guardian Statement section(s) after submitting their applications. To make such changes, applicants should go to the application website, enter their username and password, and navigate to the appropriate section. Please note that any updates to the information submitted in the Recommendation and Parent/Legal Guardian Statement sections will cause previously submitted recommendations to be deleted. In addition, any links previously sent to a parent/guardian or recommender will no longer open. Applicants should ensure that their parent/guardian and/or recommender have not completed the online form before making changes to information submitted in the application.
If changes to the Recommendation or Parent/Legal Guardian Statement sections must be made, the student should allow enough time for the recommender and/or parents/legal guardians to complete their document by Thursday,November 9, 2023.
You may ask any adult who is not related to you and who knows you well to complete your recommendation. The individual can be a teacher, school counselor, school administrator, coach, employer, youth organization leader or coordinator, etc. Keep in mind that the recommender will be asked to attest to your personal attributes, maturity, relationship with peers and authority figures, skills and talents, work ethic, and your aptitude/motivation for participating in an intensive overseas program.
Unless you are currently in the 9th grade, you should not ask a middle school teacher to complete the recommendation.
You should request the recommendation as soon as you decide to apply for NSLI-Y.
What should be included in my Recommendation?
The confidential recommendation is used to determine an applicant’s motivation and potential as an exchange student. The recommendation form asks for information about the applicant through both multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions. The open-ended questions permit the recommender to provide specific examples of how the student is prepared for an overseas immersion program. NSLI-Y encourages applicants to provide information about the NSLI-Y program to the recommender and to discuss with them their motivation for applying.
My parent/legal guardian does not speak English. How can he or she provide a Parent/Legal Guardian Statement?
The parent or legal guardian may provide us with a written translation of their Parent/Legal Guardian Statement. Past applicants have asked older siblings or other relatives to provide this translation. If your parent or legal guardian submits a translated statement, please ask him or her to make a note of this in their statement. Parent statements are not evaluated in the selection process.