Gabriela Garity, a high school student at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami, Florida, has been awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship for 2018-19 by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Garity, who has been studying Chinese since she was four years old and was an exchange student in Taiwan in 2015,says she is looking forward to studying Chinese in China for the summer because “the best way to learn a foreign language is being part of the everyday life of a local family.”
Selected from more than 3,300 applications from across the United States, Garity is one of approximately 670 students who will study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Indonesian or Russian overseas this coming year. While in China, Gabriela will receive formal language instruction, live with a host family and experience the local culture as part of an immersion environment. The NSLI-Y program 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. The goals of the NSLI-Y program include: promoting critical language learning among American youth; enhancing cross-cultural understanding and deepening trust; sparking a lifetime of interest in foreign language and culture; and developing the skills to advance international dialogue, compete effectively in the global marketplace, promote mutual understanding, and contribute to a more peaceful world.
NSLI-Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS-USA, American Cultural Exchange Service, AMIDEAST, iEARN-USA, the Russian American Foundation, Stony Brook University, the University of Delaware, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of Wisconsin. Applications for 2019-20 NSLI-Y programs are expected to be available at www.nsliforyouth.org in the late summer. For information about all U.S. Department of State exchange programs for American high school students, visit https://exchanges.state.gov/highschool.