Sebastian Fernandez, a high school student from Royal Palm Beach, will study Mandarin Chinese in China for the summer through a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship. NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Fernandez, competitively selected out of more than 3,300 applications from across the United States, is one of approximately 660 students who will study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian or Turkish overseas this coming year. While in China, Fernandez will receive formal language instruction, live with a host family and experience the local culture as part of an immersion environment.
NSLI-Y is part of a multi-agency U.S. government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to communicate in select critical languages, to advance international dialogue and increase American economic global competitiveness. Many NSLI-Y alumni go on to pursue education and careers vital to U.S. national security and credit the program experience with helping them improve their academic, leadership and cross-cultural communication skills.
Applications for 2020-21 NSLI-Y programs are expected to be available at www.nsliforyouth.org in the late summer.