The 2020-21 NSLI-Y application is now available! Apply now.

2020-21 Timeline

August

  • Discuss the program with your parents. Review the application process together and ask them to complete the parent statement.
  • Start your 2020-21 NSLI-Y application.

September

  • Ask a teacher if he or she would be willing to complete a recommendation for you.
  • Follow NSLI-Y’s Facebook page and Twitter account for application tips and updates.
  • Participate in informational webinars about the NSLI-Y program and application.  See the calendar on this page for schedule updates and registration information.
  • Request that your school send official transcripts to American Councils, post-marked by October 30, 2019.

October 16

  • If you believe you will be unable to complete the application online by October 30 at 4 PM EST and need to use a paper application instead, you must contact American Councils (nsliy@americancouncils.org) by October 16 to request alternative formats or accommodations.

Late October

  • Verify with your teacher that the deadline for the recommendation is November 6, one week after the application deadline, and that they are able to access the form. American Councils is unable to accept recommendations after this date. Recommenders must use the online NSLI-Y recommendation form. Mailed or faxed recommendations will NOT be accepted.
  • Review and complete your application. You are strongly encouraged to submit your application well before the deadline so that if you encounter any problems with submitting it, you will have time to contact American Councils for assistance.
  • If you have not already, ensure that your school send official transcripts to American Councils.

October 30, 2019 (4:00 PM Eastern Time) Application is due

  • We strongly encourage applicants to submit their applications well before the 4 PM Eastern Time deadline. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application. Late applications will not be accepted, including those delayed by technical problems. 
  • Terms and Conditions should be signed and uploaded to the online application before submission.  If this is not possible, ensure that your terms and conditions page are postmarked by this date and mailed to:
    ATTN: NSLI-Y Processing (#1100T)
    American Councils for International Education
    1828 L ST NW STE 1200
    Washington, DC 20036-5136
  • Ensure that your official transcripts are postmarked by this date and mailed to:
    ATTN: NSLI-Y Processing (#1100G)
    American Councils for International Education
    1828 L ST NW STE 1200
    Washington, DC 20036-5136

Note: Any technical problems with the application form should be reported by email to nsliy@americancouncils.org. NSLI-Y staff will be available to assist with technical problems as much as possible; however, for inquiries received on October 30, there is no guarantee that NSLI-Y staff can respond before the application deadline.

  • Remind your parent/legal guardian and teacher to complete their statement or recommendation in time for the November 6 deadline. Parents/legal guardians and teachers must use the online NSLI-Y parent statement or teacher recommendation form. Mailed, faxed, or emailed recommendations will NOT be accepted. You can monitor the status of your parent statement and teacher recommendation within the respective sections of your application. The status history box will display "submitted" once the recommendation or statement has been completed and received.

November 6 (4 PM Eastern Time) Parent Statements and Teacher Recommendations are due

  • Remember that both of these supplemental documents must be submitted online.
  • Encourage your parent and teacher to submit their statement/recommendation before November 6. Late teacher recommendations and parent statements will not be accepted.

December

  • American Councils will notify semi-finalists that they have been selected to move on in the selection process. Applicants not selected as semi-finalists will also be notified. Notifications will be emailed to the primary email address provided in your application. Note that American Councils will not be able to discuss individual application determinations. 
  • Semi-finalists will receive the NSLI-Y Medical Evaluation Form when notified of their status in December. If you have been selected as a semi-finalist, schedule an appointment as soon as possible with your doctor for a physical exam. For summer semi-finalists, NSLI-Y can accept a medical form based on a physical exam that took place within six months of completing the form. Academic year semi-finalists must complete the form based on a physical exam that took place within three months of completing the form. If you included an academic year preference in your application, schedule an appointment with your dentist, too. Make sure to bring your NSLI-Y Medical Evaluation Form for the doctor and dentist to complete with you.
  • Any semi-finalist who does not have a passport, or who does not have a passport that will be valid at least 6 months beyond your anticipated program’s end date should apply for a passport as soon as possible. It will be too late to wait until final notifications to apply for a passport.
    • The NSLI-Y Scholarship cannot cover the cost of obtaining a passport.
    • Any semi-finalist applying for a Russian program should apply for a new passport if their passport will not have at least 18 months validity AFTER their anticipated return to the U.S.
    • Note that if you are selected for a program in China, India, or Russia, your legal guardian(s) may also be required to submit a valid passport or provide residency documentation for visa applications at the discretion of the host country; NSLI-Y cannot cover the cost of obtaining passports for legal guardian(s). Note that passport processing time is often lengthy.
    • Find information about applying for a passport here.

December-February

  • An AFS-USA coordinator will be in touch with all semi-finalists to schedule their interviews. Interviews will take place in December, January, and early February. Please be sure to reply and schedule your interview as soon as you are contacted. Most interviews are conducted in-person, but sometimes by phone or Skype.
  • Review the NSLI-Y Terms and Conditions again with your parents/legal guardians. 
  • Be aware that exact program dates will not be finalized or be available until finalist notifications are released. NSLI-Y staff at American Councils will not be able to provide program schedules before finalist notifications.

February 20 (4 PM Eastern Time) Medical Evaluation Forms are due for semi-finalists

  • Ensure that the completed form is submitted to American Councils by February 20, 2020 at 4 PM Eastern Time. Please note that only those applicants who have been notified of their semi-finalist status should submit this form. Semi-finalists will receive the Medical Evaluation Form by email in December 2019.
  • Semi-finalists with an Academic Year preference for any one of their preferences should submit a completed Medical Evaluation Form for Academic Year Programs.
  • The NSLI-Y Scholarship does not cover the costs associated with completing the medical form and medical review.

February

  • Semi-finalists should be prepared to submit passport information to NSLI-Y as early as late February, but should not submit any documentation until requested.

March

  • Summer semi-finalists will begin to be notified of their status on a rolling basis.  All summer semi-finalists will be notified of their final status by mid-April 2020.  Summer program finalists will have 7 days to accept or decline the NSLI-Y Scholarship.  All finalists will receive information about their implementing organization and more detail about the location of their program with the notification of the scholarship. Finalists awarded a NSLI-Y Scholarship may not request a change to their program location or program schedule.

American Councils and the U.S. Department of State will not discuss individual determinations about the application review.

April

  • Academic year finalists will begin to be notified of their status on a rolling basis.  All semi-finalists will be notified of their status by April 23. Academic year program finalists will have 14 days to accept or decline the scholarship. All finalists will receive information about their implementing organization and more detail about the location of their program with their notification of the scholarship. Finalists awarded a NSLI-Y Scholarship may not request a change to their program location or program schedule.

American Councils and the U.S. Department of State will not discuss individual determinations about the application review.

April-June

  • All finalists’ and alternates’ medical evaluation forms are reviewed by independent medical professionals. This process is initiated only 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. NSLI-Y has a history of successfully supporting many students with unique health needs and disabilities; only in very rare cases do results of the medical review determine that a candidate does not meet medical requirements necessary for program placement and participation in NSLI-Y. Timely and early communication on health needs and disability accommodations are critical to allowing NSLI-Y to try to successfully support a student. As described in the Terms and Conditions, withholding relevant health information or delayed responses during the review process may be cause for disqualification or termination of the scholarship.
  • Finalists will be required to participate in pre-program language preparation and language assessments. These required activities support a successful program experience. Finalists should expect to dedicate at least a couple of hours each week to these pre-program language requirements.  
  • Other preparatory activities for NSLI-Y summer programs begin in the spring; academic year students typically begin their preparation during the summer.
  • Finalists will be provided guidance to apply for a visa, if required for the host country. The visa application process will require the availability of the finalist’s U.S. passport. Note that the applicant’s passport may not be available for international travel before program departure.  

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

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