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Pikeville Student, Grace Evans Studied Russian on U.S. Department of State NSLI Y Scholarship

Grace Evans of Pikeville, NC and a senior at Wayne School of Engineering just returned from a 7-week trip to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on a US Department sponsored Russian language immersion programs. She lived with a Kyrgz host family, and studied Russian 20 hours a week at the American University of Central Asia in Bishek.

She studied Russian for six–seven weeks in Kyrgyzstan 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 (ECA) that promotes the study of Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian, or Turkish

Grace competed with thousands of applicants from high schools across the United States, and is one of over 400 students to win a scholarship for a NSLI‑Y summer overseas program. While in Kyrgyzstan, Grace was immersed in the local culture and communities, studied Russian, and interacted with local peers. She intends to continue her studies in Russian and International Relations/National Security after she graduates in the Spring.

Launched in 2006 as part of a multi-agency U.S. Government initiative, NSLI‑Y increases the number of young Americans with the language skills necessary to advance international dialogue, promote economic prosperity and innovation worldwide, and contribute to national security by building understanding across cultures. 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. NSLI‑Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS‑USA, American Cultural Exchange Service, Amideast, CIEE, iEARN‑USA, Stony Brook University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Wisconsin.

Applications for 2023-24 NSLI‑Y programs will be available at in September 2022. The U.S. Department of State conducts study abroad programs for over 1,000 American high school students and approximately 3,000 foreign high school students each year. Visit to learn more.


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