National Security Language Initiative for Youth Scholarships - Due Oct 29

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Midwest, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    Are you currently in high school and interested in a language immersion program in countries such as Russia, Turkey, Oman, China, Korea and India?

    Thought I would share this information for anyone interested in participating in the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Scholarship programs. My daughter, a Senior in high school this year, participated this past summer and loved it. She lived in India for about 6 1/2 weeks. It was a 100% scholarship, except for her passport expense and fun money purchases. She had no experience in Hindi, but had five years of German, some Spanish and Russian at Concordia Language Villages. Her desire to learn languages was probably a key factor in being chosen.

    NSLY-I asked us to share details with anyone who might be interested in the program and I thought this forum might be able to reach out to some of the highly qualified upcoming Service Academy, ROTC and PREP candidates out there. The application is rigorous and requires thoughtful answers for the essays. Your chances improve greatly if you follow the directions on the application!

    Semi-finalists are interviewed. I'm not sure how many people applied for the program last year, (maybe 4000 or so, and about 5-600 are selected - I'm guessing - but each year it changes so don't hold me to the exact numbers). Details are on the website and the application is due Oct 29th. Start applying now if you are serious.

    The NSLY-I Facebook, NSLY-I Alumni and other social media pages are real interesting to read. Also look for parent pages too as they are very informative.

    By the way, any Sophomores & Juniors who are thinking you won't have time in the summer, it is possible. Some of the programs don't leave till late June or July. My dd was able to attend NASS, SLE and Girls State plus work a summer job. And if anyone is looking for a Plan G (Gap Year), this may be an option.

    And.. just a final thought... one of the Retired Officers at a recent Service Academy event said "Oh yeah, both my sons participated in the program - they went to Russia and then on to a Service Academy."

    Hope this helps any of you who are interested in foreign languages. Okay... done my community service for the day! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  2. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Adding my two cents.

    DS applied for the NSLI-Y program years ago, hoping to do a gap year. He didn't even get an interview. It is very competitive because it is a very good program and free. My DS may have been overqualified because he had already spent his Junior HS year in Brazil. My guess is they want to give opportunities to those who haven't add the overseas experience.

    DS did, however, spend a gap year in Taiwan on a Rotary Exchange. He lived with a family who spoke no English and went to schools where no one spoke it either. It was sink or swim. NSLI will have the students in classroom situations most of the day concentrating on the local language. His University and Cadet Command had no problem holding his school-based and ROTC scholarships for a year. I have no idea how SA's or other Universities would handle it.

    NSLI and Rotary Exchanges are two of the very few worthwhile reasons to take a gap year after HS, although it isn't universally the case with Rotary. There is simply no substitute for total immersion in learning a foreign language.

    DS is newly commissioned 2LT by way of AROTC. His language skills have paid off in spades. As of now, the military is very keen on "Strategic" languages, all of which NSLI-Y offers.

    Arabic
    Russian
    Mandarin
    Farsi/Dari/Persian
    Korean
    Turkish
     
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  3. Mman5247

    Mman5247 Member

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    My daughter did the Russia summer. Send me a PM if interested in more info.
     
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  4. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Both DD's studied Chinese in High School and traveled to China for partial high school semesters. One DD majored in Chinese at USNA and did a whole summer and then a semester in China. Hasn't helped her yet. Still a Grunt Marine Captain. You don't always get your assignment based upon your language skills. It is the needs of the military and your MOS.
     
  5. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    Most good programs room you with a student who is studying and trying to learn English. It seems a little stupid to put you into a sink or swim atmosphere where you can't even ask for a glass of water let alone something to eat. It is still total immersion but you still have an anchor. Try the markets sink or swim.
     
  6. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    Both of my twin DS applied - and one is a semi-finalist who is moving on to the interview portion. Any advice, in terms of what to expect and how to prepare would be appreciated!
     
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  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Again, my DS did not get an interview. Just getting the interview is big.

    However, based on his Rotary interviews and the ease with which he was given a second exchange, The most important factor, in my opinion, is NSLI being confident that your DS will succeed. He already has the intellectual chops to learn a difficult new language. He wouldn't have gotten the interview. Now they need to determine how he'll thrive in a foreign environment with all kinds of issues:

    -separation from friends and family
    -different foods
    -missing the normal American teenage diversions
    -missing sports, church activities, important holidays
    -having to live by a different set of rules
    -Weather and climate can even be an issue

    In a word: Is your DS adaptable? Every situation is different. Conditions will vary between countries and programs. Some will have good food. Some have lousy rooms. Different countries will afford varying degrees of freedom to roam around. If he is adaptable, then they will want to know it and he will succeed.

    I hate to bring it up, but it is a US government program and they will strive to make the geographic and demographic profile of the participants reflective of the the US, not that of the applicant pool.

    Best of luck to DS and keep us posted!
     
  8. Laurantwins

    Laurantwins Member

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    Thank you! It's interesting because I have DS x 2 (twins) - one got an interview and the other did not. (I hate when that happens.)

    I'll look into Rotary Club, as well.
     
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