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

  1. Fully paid for: room, board, stipends, flights, visa’s – everything except passport fees and immunizations
  2. site for details ( http://www.nsliforyouth.org/ )  
  • Have a passion for language learning: this is not a vacation. 
  • connect with the language both personally and professionally: how will knowing this language benefit your future?
  • talk about future academic (university) and professional plans – they want to see connections with the language: maybe you want to be a journalist? diplomat? teacher? why? how’s this language important?
  • they want to see commitment to the language. IE: if you have studied Chinese already, and are applying for NSLI-Y now and say you will continue to study Chinese this is a huge plus. If your language is not offered at your school, speak about university and how you will continue there, etc.
  • take your time, start this in advanced, ask for help, make sure teachers and even friends read over your essays
  • If you are a semi-finalist prepare for your interview
  • your interview is 20% of the entire process
  • a phone/skype interview does not lower your chances: all are equal
  • dress business casual: nice shirt, dress pants etc (girls, nice skirts
  • think a moment before answering your question
  • smile, be confident, strike conversation with your interviewer IE ask them about their experiences abroad/hosting etc
  • thank your interviewer, be polite
  • you will have a lot of scenario questions, so starting thinking about things such as “Your host family is never home, how does this make you feel?” – “you are being bullied for being American: what do you do?”

I was a semi-finalist for NSLI-Y but in the end did not make it through, I learned a lot so heed my advice!
I used to admin the following group, however due to issues I left by choice. A fair warning, the group atmosphere among the members is over all unfriendly and competitive. The admin will ban you if you do not follow all of their list of rules to perfection. Stating an unpopular opinion is not recommended either. Although the group CAN be helpful at times, I suggest staying on the down low and just asking simple questions. If however you ask a question already in the faq you could get scolded. Again, the group can be helpful but it is very large and very questionable, hence my departure as both an admin and as a member. I’m open to answer any questions however



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"You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price we pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place."

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