July 8 Update re: NSLI-Y 2020-21 Year Program Timeline for American Participants

July 8 Update re: NSLI-Y 2020-21 Year Program Timeline for American Participants

Please note that this message is internal and for reference by AFS-USA Volunteers regarding the NSLI-Y 2020-21 year program.

Dear AFS-USA Volunteers,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones doing well during this difficult time.

This is an important update about the NSLI-Y year program for 2020-21. The State Department’s decision about the NSLI-Y year program is independent of and does not have any bearing on any flagship (core) or other programs. As a reminder, the NSLI-Y in-person summer 2020 program was canceled and AFS-USA is implementing the Virtual Summer Intensive program (VSI), which you can learn about here.

All outbound American NSLI-Y 2020-21 year program students received the following program update from the U.S. Department of State:

All 2020-21 NSLI-Y academic year programs will begin as a virtual exchange. The U.S. Department of State and NSLI-Y implementing partners will review public health and travel conditions later this year to determine whether participants can travel overseas to complete their program. Participant travel before January 2021 will not be considered.

The NSLI-Y virtual academic year program is still under development and will be adjusted based on feedback from the NSLI-Y summer virtual programs. The virtual program may include the following elements: interactive instruction from an experienced language teacher via video conference and class collaboration space; homework, quizzes, and language assessments; skits, role-plays, video entries, projects; conversation practice; cultural and language learning opportunities, guided virtual tours of sites of historic and/or cultural significance like museums or markets, and videos related to the cultural learning or grammatical concepts in the target language. We expect 8-10 classroom hours a week with additional homework and cultural activities, but the exact schedule has not been determined.

Should public health and travel conditions prevent overseas travel in January 2021, the program will continue to provide virtual programming until its originally scheduled conclusion in May or June 2021.

If participants do not travel abroad for an in-person exchange during the 2020-21 academic year, they will be eligible to apply to the 2021-22 NSLI-Y academic year program, provided they meet other eligibility criteria.

The Sponsored Programs staff at AFS-USA will continue to work with students, natural families, and AFS China on the pre-departure phase, including training for participants about culture, health and safety, the adjustment process, the AFS support network, etc. We will additionally collaborate with AFS China, American Councils, and the U.S. Department of State to develop and implement the virtual exchange component, beginning in the fall of 2020. We will remain in touch with the U.S. Department of State regarding their decision about the feasibility of student travel in January 2021.

As shared above, AFS-USA staff and volunteers are continuing with pre-departure preparations and requirements at this time, including the in-home sending interviews (virtually).

We sincerely thank our volunteers, participants, and natural families for their dedication to the meaningful language learning and citizen diplomacy fostered by the NSLI-Y program, especially during these difficult times! Please reach Hannah, Melissa, or Allen with any questions about the NSLI-Y program at nsliforyouth@afsusa.org or 646-751-2238.

With our best,

Hannah, Melissa, and Allen
Hannah Stewart, NSLI-Y Specialist
Melissa Rossi, NSLI-Y Coordinator
Allen Evans, Manager, Outbound Sponsored Programs


120 Wall Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10005