Bianca Beteta, an Oak Park and River Forest High School student, was awarded with a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship for 2015-16. She will be studying Chinese in China for the summer.

Bianca is one of only 620 U.S. students who were competitively selected to receive a scholarship. She will have the opportunity to receive formal instruction and informal language practice in an immersion environment. Other students will travel abroad to study Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian and Turkish.

The NSLI-Y program seeks to increase the number of Americans who can engage with native speakers of critical languages. The goals of the NSLI-Y program include sparking a life-long interest in foreign languages and cultures, and developing a corps of young Americans with the skills necessary to advance international dialogue and cross-cultural opportunities in the private, academic, and government sectors.

NSLI-Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS-USA, American Cultural Exchange Service, AMIDEAST, Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine, iEARN-USA, Legacy International, Russian American Foundation, Stony Brook University, the University of Delaware, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin. Applications for 2016-2017 NSLI-Y programs are expected to be available at in the early fall. For information about U.S. Department of State-sponsored exchange programs visit

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