Click on each question for answers to frequently asked questions about Virtual NSLI-Y.
General Program Information
Why Virtual NSLI-Y?
Virtual NSLI-Y opens the door to language learning and offers students the opportunity to gain critical language, communication, and other practical skills as well as cultural understanding in an online setting.
Many Virtual NSLI-Y participants successfully apply for overseas NSLI-Y or other in-person international exchange programs. Virtual NSLI-Y participants report increased readiness, interest, and confidence for international travel and cross-cultural experiences.
What is covered by a Virtual NSLI-Y scholarship?
- Program materials/textbooks (if used by instructor)
- 10 weeks/30 hours of instruction with an experienced language instructor through videoconferencing tools
- Cultural learning (for example, interaction with international peers, guest speaker presentations, virtual tours of cultural sites, etc.)
- Access to a digital platform for assignments/projects/etc.
- Certificate of program completion (if participant fulfills all program requirements)
- Internet access, software, or hardware (Email virtual firstname.lastname@example.org to request financial assistance to procure necessary items. Eligibility requirements for financial assistance will apply.)
- Travel of any kind
Virtual NSLI-Y is a scholarship program and applying does not guarantee selection.
How do you define novice/beginner in the language?
- A student who has little to no formal or informal exposure to the language. A novice/beginner level student may have done very limited self-study but must not be at Novice Low proficiency. A novice/beginner cannot do any of the following in the target language: NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements
- Students who have received prior tutoring or instruction in the target language are not eligible.
Can I still apply for NSLI-Y summer or academic year if I participate in Virtual NSLI-Y?
Yes. Virtual NSLI-Y students who meet all NSLI-Y eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply for NSLI-Y summer or academic year programs. Your participation in the Virtual NSLI-Y program will be considered in the application process for these programs.
Are Virtual NSLI-Y alumni eligible for the NSLI-Y or Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) alumni associations?
- Virtual NSLI-Y alumni are eligible to join the ECA alumni community, a large network of alumni from U.S. government-funded and U.S. government-facilitated exchange programs. Joining the ECA alumni community allows exchange participants to build on their exchange experiences, network with fellow ECA alumni, and gain access to online resources and events. For more information, please go to the ECA alumni website.
- NSLI-Y alumni association membership is open only to participants who have completed summer or academic year programs. However, Virtual NSLI-Y participants are welcome to engage with the NSLI-Y community through NSLI-Y social media and to present about the Virtual NSLI-Y program at your school or in your local community. Email email@example.com receive presentation resources.
Can Virtual NSLI-Y students submit stories to NSLI-Y Interactive?
Yes, please do! Go to NSLI-Y Interactive.
How do session times work if participants/teachers are all in different time zones?
All sessions are scheduled according to the U.S. Eastern time zone. Adjust class times according to your location.
Can I apply to Virtual NSLI-Y if I am a U.S. citizen who is attending high school outside of the U.S.?
No. Virtual NSLI-Y is only open to U.S. citizens attending a U.S.-based high school.
Can I apply to Virtual NSLI-Y if I am not a U.S. citizen but I am attending high school in the U.S.?
No; applicants must be U.S. citizens.
What if Virtual NSLI-Y sessions fall on a federal or religious holiday?
Virtual NSLI-Y activities will not take place on U.S. federal holidays. If one or more sessions fall on a U.S. federal holiday, program administrators or your teacher will be in touch with you about scheduling adjustments to normal class days/times. If your class has one or more sessions that fall on a religious holiday that is not a U.S. federal holiday, sessions will not be canceled. Students observing that holiday should notify their teacher in advance to be granted an excused absence and will be expected to make up work according to teacher instructions.
What if I must miss a session for a doctor’s appointment, college interview, school meeting, etc.?
Virtual NSLI-Y students are allowed up to three (3) absences. To be considered an excused absence, the student must communicate with their instructor and Virtual NSLI-Y staff at least 24 hours in advance of the session. Students who miss a session because of sudden illness or due to an emergency should communicate with their instructor and Virtual NSLI-Y staff at their earliest possible convenience.
Good to Know: An American Academy of Arts and Sciences report, “America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century”, stresses the value and importance of increased “access to language education for all U.S. citizens, irrespective of geography, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background”. Some of the challenges that schools face in meeting this goal (lack of language teachers, little additional resource capacity, large grant focus on STEM curriculum, etc.) can be addressed with virtual, synchronous instruction.
Resources on virtual learning: