I’m headed off to Morocco in about 3 weeks so I decided it was time I started my blog! I just wanted to start out by giving my personal timeline of the notification process and some general information about my program for future applicant’s reference!
Late October: Turned in Application
December 1st: Semi-finalist notification
Later in December: Interview
March 10th: Finalist notification
Please keep in mind that the timeline can vary year by year for example I believe that Arabic summer came out on March 17th last year and on the 25th the year before that.
Here’s what I’ve learned since receiving my notification:
I will be living in Rabat with 12 other students and the rest of the Legacy group will be in Marrakech. I was really excited to be placed in Rabat because while Marrakech is definitely the bigger cultural hub, Rabat isn’t nearly as scorching hot and has way less tourism.
On June 16th I will be flying from Montana to D.C. to meet the rest of my group for Post Departure Orientation for a few days. From there we will fly through Paris to Casablanca! (super pumped for that eight hour layover)
I thought I would also include some general tips for applying to NSLI-Y in this post.
- The most important thing you can do is demonstrate strong interest in learning the language. Don’t get too caught up in making sure you mention all of your extra curriculars and awards that you forget why you’re applying for the scholarship in the first place. NSLI-Y may be pretty prestigious and competitive but the number 1 thing they’re looking for is someone who’s really going to dedicate themselves to the language and stick with it after the program ends. They don’t just go through and accept every valedictorian.
- Make sure to utilize the alumni community. One of the most helpful things for me while applying was having alumni read over my essays. Having someone who doesn’t know you look over your essays and critique them is so invaluable and as long as you’re not asking at the last moment you can certainly find someone willing to read over them on the “Ask NSLI-Y Alumni” facebook group. (Seriously join this group as it is super helpful at every step in the NSLI-Y process)
- Get started on your application as soon as it comes out. You might not realize it but NSLI-Y readers can easily tell how long you spent working on those essays. If NSLI-Y is something you’re really dedicated to receiving then don’t open the application up a few days before it’s due, make sure you get that early start so you have plenty of time to edit and get that alumni feedback.