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    Virtual National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

    Offered by U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

    Reviewed by Lisa FreedlandLast updated May 9, 2024
    Multiple awards worth

    Full Program Costs

    Grade level

    High School Students

    Application deadline:

    June 10, 2024

    Scholarship Overview

    Are you a high school student wanting to learn a foreign language critical to U.S. national security? If so, consider applying for the Virtual National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)! The Virtual National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) is open to high school students in the U.S. who want to participate in the virtual, 10-week-long NSLI-Y beginner-level foreign language and culture course.

    The scholarship is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), which utilizes “educational and cultural exchange” programs to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries in order to develop peaceful relations. If selected, the scholarship will cover the full program costs for recipients. Each year typically consists of separate Fall and Winter NSLI-Y Programs, each of which has its own deadline. If you’re a high school student with a passion for foreign languages, we encourage you to apply!

    Eligibility information

    In order to be eligible for this scholarship, you must be a high school student aged 15-18 in the U.S. wanting to partake in the virtual NSLI-Y program to learn a language critical to U.S. national security. You must also be a beginner or novice in your chosen target language and meet the below eligibility requirements.

    Grade Level

    High School Students


    U.S. Citizens

    Academic Interest

    Foreign Languages

    Application information

    To apply for this scholarship, students must submit an online application in addition to the below application materials.


    Academic transcript

    Letter of Recommendation

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    Scholarship FAQ

    Is this scholarship open to international students?

    No, this scholarship is only open to U.S. Citizens.

    When will the winner of this scholarship be announced?

    The Virtual National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) winner will be announced: July 2024.

    Who should I contact with any questions about this scholarship?

    For any questions regarding this scholarship application, please contact U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at [email protected].

    Where can I find help writing my scholarship essay?

    For help writing the essay component of this scholarship application, check out our guides How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay and How to Start a Scholarship Essay (With Examples).

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