NSLI and Yes Programs


The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides full, merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs.

NSLI-Y is part of a broader government-wide presidential initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world. Now more than ever, it is important that Americans have the necessary linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to promote international dialogue and support American engagement abroad. NSLI-Y aims to provide opportunities to American youth that will spark a lifetime interest in language learning.

Previous language study is not required, and language learners of all levels are encouraged to apply.   

•Summer and year programs
•Emphasis on learning languages not normally taught in U.S. high schools
•Arabic and Chinese are the most popular (think about Turkey!)
•Must be U.S. citizen, ages 15 to 18 1/2, in high school at time of departure
•2.5 minimum GPA
•600 full scholarships funded by the U.S. Department of State
•Check website for deadlines:  www.nsliforyouth.org    

My experience can be defined by the everyday conversations with my host family while drinking excessive amounts of chai, walking on the busy streets of Ankara as the shop owners try to persuade us to come to their shops, and learning Turkish with an engaging sets of students and two charismatic teachers.
These eventful 6 weeks really allowed me to understand the culture that I have always been curious about. I have gained a closer look at culture through the the cultural excursions on friday- learning calligraphy, traditional dances- to the introduction of new host family members and Turkish friends.
Through this, I have made wonderful American friends along with Turkish friends and family that I will always value and remember.                                                                                            Robia, Pioneer High School                Turkey

YES Abroad:      

The   Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program ,  funded by the U.S. Department of State, provides scholarships for secondary school students (age 15-17) from countries with significant Muslim populations to spend up to one academic year in the United States. Scholarships for the YES Abroad Program are also available to U.S. citizens attending high school (age 15-18.5) to spend one academic year or a semester in select countries.                                          

• Year programs only
• Countries with a significant Muslim population
• Must be U.S. citizen, ages 15 to 18 1/2, in high school at time of departure
• 3.0 minimum GPA
• 65 full scholarships funded by the U.S. Department of State
• Check website for deadlines: http://www.yesprograms.org