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  • Writer's pictureQuakerValley QuakerQuill

NSLI-Y: A Language Learning Opportunity

Updated: Apr 30

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) is a program run by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) which gives American youth an opportunity to study a variety of critical languages through study abroad and virtual programs. It is part of a multi-agency U.S. Government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to communicate in select critical languages, advance international dialogue and provide Americans with job skills for the global economy.

NSLI-Y offers 8 languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, and Turkish. American High School students between the ages of 15-18 are eligible to apply to study any of these languages in a variety of locations, such as Korea, Estonia and China or in a virtual capacity.

NSLI-Y offers a variety of opportunities to study these languages throughout the year. There are options for both summer and academic year programs. Summer programs last 6-7 weeks from mid June/early July to mid August, and academic-year programs last 8-10 months beginning in August or September. Additionally, there are Virtual NSLI-Y options in the fall, winter and summer terms.

Sixteen year-old Sio Fitzgerald studied Russian Language through a NSLI-Y Virtual Program implemented by A.S.E. Global Bridges at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive this past summer. When asked what her favorite part of the program was, Sio said, “Making close bonds with other participants and learning about the culture of Russia . . . NSLI-Y was a great experience and I learned a lot I don’t think I could learn anywhere else.”


The application for the NSLI-Y 2024-’25 summer and academic year programs is now open, as well as for Winter 2024 Virtual NSLI-Y. For more information, visit the program website at www.nsliforyouth.org.


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