The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors three scholarship opportunities for high school students to study abroad.
These merit-based scholarships include international airfare, tuition, and program costs, as well as meals and living accommodations (often with a host family). The programs have no language prerequisites, and gap year students are encouraged to apply as long as they meet the age requirements. The scholarships include:
- The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships to study one of seven critical foreign languages: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian and Turkish. The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. The application deadline for summer 2017 and the 2017-18 school year is Oct. 27. Click here for more information.
- The Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Abroad Program offers merit-based scholarships to study for an academic year in countries that may include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Morocco, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand and Turkey. This program increases understanding between people in the United States and people in countries with significant Muslim populations. Students live with host families, attend local high schools, do community service and complete a capstone project. The application deadline for 2017-18 is Dec. 18. Click here for more information.
- The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) offers merit-based scholarships to study for an academic year in Germany. The program celebrates German-American friendship based on common values of democracy. Students live with host families, attend local schools and participate in community life in Germany. Click here to locate the organization in charge of recruitment for your state.
Click here for more information on exchanges sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.