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NSLI-Y and AFS

I have received a scholarship through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), but my a large part of my exchange experience is being handled by American Field Service (AFS).  This page is home to important information about both these programs.

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

The US Department of State through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth provides full scholarships for eligible high school students to learn a new language, attend a new school, understand a new culture, create a new life with a host family, host community and international friends and colleagues for a summer, semester or school year.

Before I begin, I must say that I highly encourage anyone who is eligible and interested to consider applying to this program or at least read more about it.  This is a great opportunity and not enough people know about it.

That being said, allow me to tell you more about this program.  NSLI-Y started in 2006 as part of a wider presidential initiative.  It began with just 46 scholarships for a 6 week summer program with two languages, Arabic and Chinese.  Arabic participants traveled to Egypt and Jordan (later Morocco too) and Chinese participants traveled to China.  In 2009, the scholarship expanded to include 7 other languages: Russian (Russia), Hindi (India), Turkish (Turkey), Farsi (Tajikistan), and Korean (South Korea).  The scholarship also began to offer year and semester length programs for all languages except Farsi.

To learn more about this program, follow these links:

State Department Site

NSLI-Y Site

American Field Service (AFS)

AFS is an international, voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more just and peaceful world.

American Field Service (AFS) is one of the oldest, and largest, exchange programs in the world.  It initially started during WWI as an ambulance corps in France.  It was revived during WWII for the same purpose.  After WWII a man named Stephan Galatti helped start one of the first high school exchange programs.  Students from USA and former Axis countries spend an academic year in the other to learn about their culture and way of life.  For many years, the exchanges were bilateral, students to America and Americans abroad.  Then starting 1971, students could exchange to countries other than the US.  Today, AFS works with over 50 counties and has over 100,000 volunteers worldwide.

For more information on AFS:

AFS Worldwide

AFS-USA

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