WASHINGTON, DC -- Approximately 600 scholarships are available for the 2014-15 academic year for American high school students to study language through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program. NSLI-Y is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The program seeks to increase Americans' capacity to engage with native speakers of critical languages by providing formal and informal language learning through a study abroad experience, which includes language classes and living in a local community abroad, often with a host family.

Scholarships to participate in summer or academic year programs are available for the study of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian and Turkish. The merit-based scholarships cover domestic and international travel, tuition and related academic expenses, daily language classes, supporting cultural activities, room and board, and secondary health benefits for travel abroad.

Launched in 2006, the goal of NSLI-Y is to increase the number of young Americans with the language skills necessary to advance international dialogue and increase understanding between cultures. Alumni of NSLI-Y can become leaders in a variety of international fields in the private, academic or government sector. NSLI-Y is administered by American Councils for International Education, in cooperation with AFS-USA, iEARN, American Cultural Exchange Service (ACES), Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA), AMIDEAST, Legacy International, Russian American Foundation (RAF), and University of Delaware.

To be eligible for 2014-15 program scholarships, applicants must be:

â?¢ U.S. citizens

â?¢ Current high school students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher

â?¢ 15 - 18 years of age at the start of the program

â?¢ Additional detailed eligibility criteria can be found at www.nsliforyouth.org

For more information about the NSLI-Y program or to apply, visit www.nsliforyouth.org. The application deadline is Nov. 5, 2013.

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