Please note that the information below pertains to the 2024-2025 NSLI-Y program cycle and is subject to change in future application cycles.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) offers many opportunities for American youth to participate in international exchanges. ECA seeks to represent the diversity of America in these youth exchange programs and to make sure the selection process is fair and transparent.
Strong selection preference is given to those who have not previously participated in an in-person exchange program or lived abroad for six months or more during the past five years.
This eligibility policy applies to the following programs, which take place outside the United States:
• Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) Outbound
• Future Leaders Exchange Abroad Program (FLEX Abroad)
• Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad)
• National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)
• Youth Leadership Programs (Outbound)
• Youth Ambassadors Program
NSLI-Y Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for NSLI-Y applicants must:
- Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application
- Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent
- Be 15-18 years of age at start of the program
- For 2024 summer programs: birthdate between July 10, 2005 and June 10, 2009
- For 2024-2025 academic year programs: birthdate between August 30, 2005 and June 30, 2009
- Be enrolled in grades 9-12 (high school or home school equivalent) at the time of application
- Not be in either of the two ineligibility categories described below: