Application Part One
The NSLI-Y application is very user-friendly and easy to maneuver. Everything each applicant needs to complete is clearly listed with the time it is due on the NSLI-Y’s website under the “How to Apply” tab. The majority of the application is personal information that won’t affect your likelihood of being accepted. A teacher and parent recommendation are required. But the most important part of the application comes in a few short essays each applicant is required to submit. One is a letter to your future host family, which is really cool because if you are selected your host family will actually receive a translated version of your letter! The other two have to deal with your motives for applying and why you believe you would make a good candidate. Finally, the application asks about your knowledge in the target language, but rest assured that there is no previous knowledge required for acceptance.
My experience with the application process was very positive. This was the first major application I have filled out, and therefore I was incredibly nervous about what to say. I wanted to portray myself truly but also wanted to show that I would be a good fit for such a rigorous program. I spent a total of 2-3 weeks working on my essays, writing and rewriting them until I felt that they completed these two goals. A piece of advice I have for prospective applicants would be to use your resources when writing your essays – I had my parents and teachers read over them at different points in their development, which was incredibly useful. Also, in the end, make sure that what you are writing in your essays is truthful and depicts the true you; trying to make yourself appear like someone you are not will only hurt your chances at acceptance.
On October 25, 2016 – two days before the application was due – I courageously hit the “submit” button. Immediately, I felt a sense of relief, knowing that I had put my all into the application. Now onto the first dreadfully long wait to see if I had cleared the first boundary…
Continued in Part Two under the Application tab