NSLI for YOUTH Moscow (Ages 15-18)

NSLI for YOUTH Moscow (Ages 15-18)


Check back soon for Summer 2015 dates!

In 2014, for the9461978290_c4207165dc_z fifth year in a row, the Russian American Foundation was selected for the highly prestigious NSLI FOR YOUTH funded by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in cooperation with American Councils for International Education. This summer, RAF is pleased to design and implement the 2014 NSLI FOR YOUTH Russian Language & Culture RAF and Bolshoi Way Moscow Summer Intensive.14944791008_294a43d8c7_z

This highly successful program allows RAF to send fifteen pre-professional ballet students, selected from a national pool, to Moscow on an all-expense-paid six-week summer educational and pre-professional program which combines Russian language instruction, cultural immersion, and ballet training with Master Teachers of Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy.


For those selected to participate, the NSLI FOR YOUTH Moscow Summer Intensive 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 students’ 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 students expect from RAF’s partnership with the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.



An applicant MUST meet the following general requirements:

  • U.S. Citizen
  • Enrolled in High School at the time of the application
  • 15-18 years of age at start of program (birth date between July 15, 1995 and June 10, 1999)
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • 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-Y administering organization whose duties involve the NSLI-Y program
  • Have not previously traveled outside the U.S. on a long-term (more than eight weeks) program sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Department of State
  • Have not participated in an NSLI-Y summer program previously

Program Specific Requirements:

  • Participants must be at a novice-level in Russian language study
  • Participants cannot have dual U.S. – Russian citizenship, nor have been born in Russia
  • Enrolled in the 2014 New York Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive
  • By applying to RAF’s NSLI-Y Bolshoi 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 RAF’s NSLI-Y Bolshoi 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 a comprehensive list of all NSLI FOR YOUTH program requirements, please visit their website.




1) Applicant must be enrolled in the 2014 New York Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive 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) 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. You will need to complete the Application Form 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.

3) RAF must receive all forms in the office by FRIDAY, MARCH 21st, 2014.

4) RAF Selection Committee will review all applications, conduct phone and/or personal interviews with semi-finalists, and will make final determinations by April 25th, 2014. Determinations will be made based on a point system in 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 Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Program. However, all interested and registered students for the 2014 Bolshoi Ballet Academy Summer Intensive Program are encouraged to apply for the NSLI FOR YOUTH program.

For questions regarding the NSLI-Y Program please contact:
               Ashley Schneider
               Program Coordinator, BBASI/NSLI-Y Programs
               E-mail: aschneider@russianamericanfoundation.org
               Phone at 212-687-6118 ext. 201

***Please note that the program’s implementation depends on available U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs funding.***



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.

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.”



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