NSLI for YOUTH MOSCOW (Ages 15-18)

NSLI for YOUTH MOSCOW (Ages 15-18)

About

Summer 2015 dates:  July 11, 2015 – August 22, 2015

9461978290_c4207165dc_zFor the sixth year in a row, the Russian American Foundation was selected as an implementing organization for the highly prestigious NSLI FOR YOUTH Scholarships to Study Language Abroad Program funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in cooperation with American Councils for International Education. RAF is honored to continue offering the NSLI-Y Russian Language & Culture; RAF and Bolshoi Way to its Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Program participants.

This highly successful program allows RAF to send, on a full scholarship, fifteen students of ballet to Moscow on a summer educational and pre-professional program. The comprehensive experience combines Russian language instruction, cultural immersion, and ballet training with Teachers of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

For those selected to participate, the NSLI9461979578_b3273b9cf3_z FOR YOUTH Program will start immediately after the end of the first BBASI 3-week session in New York. The NSLI FOR YOUTH program is meant to recognize participants’ academic merit and interest in Russian language and culture. No prior language experience is necessary to be considered. The Program will be designed to give full linguistic and cultural immersion, in addition to the high quality ballet training that participants expect from RAF’s partnership with Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

14944791008_294a43d8c7_zRAF’ NSLI-Y Program combines RAF’s mission of promoting a non-partisan bilateral dialogue and the goals of the NSLI for YOUTH program, as relating to Russia:

  • To improve the ability of Americans to engage with the people of Russian-speaking countries through shared language
  • To develop a cadre of Americans with advanced linguistic skills and related cultural understanding who are able to use their linguistic and cultural skills to advance international dialogue and compete effectively in the global economy
  • To provide a tangible incentive for the learning and use of foreign language by creating overseas language study opportunities for U.S. high school students
  • To spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures among American youth

Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (May 2012): “I can’t stress enough how important these exchanges are in building a strong relationship between our countries… These exchanges provide academic opportunities for students in all fields. But indirectly, they also help to undermine stereotypes. Nothing is worse for scientific advance, business development, or international cooperation than assumptions based on false impressions or factual inaccuracies. Greater engagement and understanding does not always lead to common interests or shared values. But interaction between our societies at least reduces the probability of disagreements based on misperceptions and increases the opportunities of collaboration between individuals, companies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and governments.

For questions regarding the RAF NSLI-Y Program please contact:
Kirsten Howe
Program Coordinator, NSLI-Y/Bolshoi PREP Programs
E-mail: khowe@russianamericanfoundation.org
Phone at 212-687-6118 ext. 201

*Program details are subject to change
**Program implementation subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Program

PROGRAM

NSLI FOR YOUTH, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. NSLI-Y is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world.

RAF’s NSLI-Y program offers a unique opportunity to its participants’ to acquire Russian language skills, cultural competency and augment their ballet training through in-class language instruction, authentic cultural activities, host family stays and ballet training at Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Formal language classes, 4 hours/day, and individual assignments will provide formal environment for participants to study Russian language. In-class instruction will be supplemented by various cultural activities designed to increase participants’ knowledge of the culture, society, and people of Modern Day Russia. RAF’s NSLI-Y program is unique as participants also train 3 hours/day with world-renowned Teachers at the Moscow State Academy of Choreography (MGAKh), known as the famed Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

During the week, participants reside in the dormitories of the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, while on the weekends participants live with assigned host families, who typically host one to two American participants each. During their time with their host families, participants become part of the rich Russian traditions centered on family life, practice linguistic skills, and experience local culture first hand. Host families often take participants to city sites, parks, markets, and even to the dacha (a weekend summer house in the outskirts of the city) and involve them in family holidays and traditions; such as cooking, birthday celebrations, and other aspects of locals’ life.

LOCATION

nsliy_2012_certificatesThe Bolshoi Ballet Academy is located in the heart of Moscow, with sites like Red Square, Old Arbat, Gorky Park, and many others easily accessible for participants. The host families are spread throughout the Moscow metro-area and different neighborhoods. While no participant is allowed to travel beyond Moscow and its surrounding suburbs, host families are encouraged to introduce participants to the diversity of Moscow’s neighborhoods, from city center to the dacha in the outskirts of the city.

CULTURAL PROGRAM*

RAF plans several organized cultural events to help expand participants’ understanding of Russia. The nature of this program encourages participants 15131386025_a573d1ff53_zto explore the city on their own in addition to RAF’s cultural program. Previously, the organized cultural program has included events such as:

  • meeting with foreign service officers at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow
  • master classes and gallery tours with world-renowned Russian artists
  • attendance of Moscow’s theaters and ballet companies
  • restaurant outings for authentic Russian cuisine

SUPERVISION & PROGRAM PREPARATION

Moscow is one of the most dynamic and fascinating cities in the world.  Similar to New York, it is a big city and, therefore, regular awareness, common sense, and caution are expected from all participants at all times.

While RAF takes great care to ensure the safety and well-being of participants during the Program, our ability to do so depends, in part, on serious preparation of participants and their families for the experience. All Participants in the Program are expected to be mature and responsible in their decision making process, to be able to function independently, to understand the inherent risks involved in overseas travel, to understand the rigorous nature of the Program, and to comply with all rules, laws, and regulations of the Program and the overseas host country and hosts. The Program is structured so that, in addition to organized and chaperoned activities, participants are encouraged to explore Moscow on their own. Attendance at all Program activities and curfew is mandatory.  An American Resident Advisor will accompany the group on the overseas trip, will reside with the group at the Academy residency, and will be available to participants for overall guidance and 24/7 emergency assistance. Resident Advisor will not accompany participants during their free time, individual activities, and/or during their stays at host families.

While in many respects Moscow is like the big cities in the US and shares a similar level of risks, there are some country specific ones. Below are important links that will assist candidates and their families to understand some of the Russia specific risks, advisories, and recommendations which are relevant to travel to Russia:

US Department of State – Russia

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention – Russia

Smart Travel Enrollment Program

US Embassy in Moscow Messages & Travel Alerts

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For questions regarding the RAF NSLI-Y Program please contact:
Kirsten Howe
Program Coordinator, NSLI-Y/Bolshoi PREP Programs
E-mail: khowe@russianamericanfoundation.org
Phone at 212-687-6118 ext. 201

For more general information on NSLI FOR YOUTH Scholarships to Study Language Abroad program, please visit the official website.

*Program details are subject to change
**Program implementation subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Eligibility

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

An applicant MUST meet the following general requirements:

  • A U.S. Citizen
  • Have a valid U.S. passport at the time of application
  • Enrolled in High School at the time of application
  • 15-18 years of age at start of program (birth date between July 15, 1996 and June 10, 2000)
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Abide by US. Department of State Eligibility Policy for American Outbound Youth Programs
    • Not an immediate family member of an employee of the U.S. Department of State who works in the Youth Programs Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs or an employee at a NSLI for YOUTH administering organization whose duties involve the NSLI for YOUTH Program
    • Have not previously traveled outside the U.S. on a long-term (more than eight-week) program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
    • Have not participated in an NSLI for Youth summer program previously

Program Specific Requirements:

  • Participants must be at a beginning level in Russian language study
  • Participants cannot have dual U.S. – Russian citizenship, or have been born in Russia
  • Participants must be enrolled in the 2015 BBASI NYC Program
  • Any semi-finalist who is being considered as a finalist will be required to provide and complete additional documentation including, but not limited to: Scholarship Acceptance Forms, Participant Agreement, medical evaluation, registration in the U.S. Department of State Program website, and others as required.
  • By applying to the RAF NSLI-Y Program, all participants and their families acknowledge and agree to abide by the laws, rules, and regulations of the United States, the NSLI-Y Program, and RAF. Additionally, by applying to the RAF NSLI-Y Program, all participants and their families acknowledge and agree to abide by the laws, rules, and regulations of the Russian Federation, the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, and Foreign Hosts.

For questions regarding the RAF NSLI-Y Program please contact:
               Kirsten Howe
               Program Coordinator, NSLI-Y/Bolshoi PREP Programs
               E-mail: khowe@russianamericanfoundation.org
               Phone at 212-687-6118 ext. 201

For a comprehensive list of all NSLI FOR YOUTH program requirements, please visit the official website.

14944799147_853a8ea531_z
*Program details are subject to change
**Program implementation subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Application

RAF NSLI-Y Program 2015 application process now open!

APPLICATION PROCESS:

1) Applicant must be enrolled in 2015 BBASI NYC to participate (if you are already enrolled in the 6-week session and are selected as a Finalist, you will be reimbursed for the final 3-week session).

2) If planning to apply to NSLI-Y Russian Language and Culture, RAF & Bolshoi Way, Applicant must first submit Notification of Intended Application form, which can be found here.

3) Applicant is required to submit all necessary documents in a timely manner. Please download the Q&A FORM and the APPLICATION FORM for complete instructions. Read both from start to finish before filling out the application form. The Application Form must be submitted BOTH in print and online. The online Application Form can be found here. Click here to download an informational document that may assist teachers in writing your recommendation.

4) RAF must receive all forms in the office by FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015.

5) RAF Selection Committee will review all applications, conduct phone and/or personal interviews with semi-finalists, and will make final determinations by April 24th, 2015. Determinations will be made based the following areas: a) exhibited interest in Russian language and Russian culture, b) academic excellence, c) demonstrated maturity. As RAF is responsible to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to make sure that each participant excels and meets the goals of the Program, the Selection Committee reserves the right to award extra points to applicants who have demonstrated maturity and dedication during past enrollment in RAF’s BBASI. However, all interested and registered students for the 2015 BBASI NYC are encouraged to apply for the RAF NSLI-Y Program.

For questions regarding the RAF NSLI-Y Program please contact:
               Kirsten Howe
               Program Coordinator, NSLI-Y/Bolshoi PREP Programs
               E-mail: khowe@russianamericanfoundation.org
               Phone at 212-687-6118 ext. 201

*Program details are subject to change
**Program implementation subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Testimonials

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS:

Read about participant Alana’s experience on the NSLI-Y website here.

Watch NSLI-Y participants share their experiences on NBCNews here.

Read testimonials from past participants by clicking on their names: Kelsey, Mable, Alexis, Laurie, Anna Corinne, Haley.

Watch participants show off their Russian language skills and give a tour of their dormitory in Moscow here.

View photos from past NSLI-Y programs here.

 
*Program details are subject to change
**Program implementation subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Finalists

RAF CONGRATULATES ITS 2014 NSLI-Y FINALISTS:

Davia Bunch, South Carolina

Anastasia Calzaretto, New Jersey

Samuel David, New York

Emily Fennell, Maryland

Leah Garman, Maryland

Caroline Kraft, Ohio

Katherine Kurata, Connecticut

Elizabeth Lindsey, Alabama

Leah Morris, Virginia

Erika Pugh, Pennsylvania

Jaya Puglise, Vermont

Sophia Sevier, Washington

McCall Sheetz, California

Safia Speer, New Jersey

Olivia Thurman, New York

*Program details are subject to change
**Program implementation subject to available funding of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs