National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)


  • Applications are closed. 
Learn a unique language in a foreign culture!
The NSLI-Y program provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent graduates to learn less commonly taught languages. Participants will spend a summer or academic year studying a language while immersed in the culture and day-to-day life of the host country. A network of support through experienced international exchange organizations, field staff, trained volunteers, and carefully selected host families helps ensure a successful exchange experience.
Now more than ever, linguistic skills and cultural knowledge are important building blocks for American citizens to be leaders in a global world. No previous language skills are required. If you have a passion for learning languages and want to immerse yourself in a foreign culture, this program may be for you!
Visit the NSLI-Y Interactive website for more stories from past participants, virtual events, and activities.

Program Length

Summer and Academic Year

Eligibility and Application Overview

The application for 2018-2019 NSLI-Y program is closed.  The deadline was November 2, 2017 at 4 PM Eastern Time.
To apply, visit the NSLI-Y website.


All applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently enrolled in high school;
  • Be 15-to-18 years old at the start of the program; and
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Meet other criteria as defined in the application.


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