NSLI-Y Program

Reviews (5)

Julia Churbuck
Natalia Kulczycki
Haley Rice
Sydney Matrisciano


Congratulations on your acceptance to the 2017 NSLI-Y Russian Language Program! Your program experience and language learning begin now. This mandatory pre-program language course is for you to complete prior to your arrival in Washington, DC for pre-departure orientation. The completion of this self-study pre-program course is vital to ensuring you begin your NSLI-Y experience with an essential basic foundation in Russian. Because this course is mandatory for participation in the program, failure to complete the course and take the quizzes listed under "Tasks" will have a negative impact on your standing with NSLI-Y. You are expected to review all units on time and complete each of the five quizzes to the best of your ability.

This Russian pre-program course has been designed by American Councils to:

  • Help you learn the Cyrillic alphabet, as well as essential Russian vocabulary and survival phrases
  • ​Ensure you have the basic knowledge and skills needed to succeed in the NSLI-Y academic program
  • Allow you to recognize phrases that you will be exposed to immediately upon arrival in the host country
  • Make the transition to living and studying abroad easier

This online course contains a syllabus on the following page, which outlines the subjects, learning outcomes, and dates covered for each unit, and an evaluation calendar with the submission dates of all required quizzes. Clickable links to external videos and audio clips can be found in underlined, blue font. While this material supplements American Councils-developed language instruction, American Councils is not affiliated with material hosted on YouTube or other websites. Before getting started, please carefully review the Study Tips and Syllabus sections of this course. This will help you plan your study and show you what you will learn prior to departure.

This course is ten weeks long and begins on March 26. Completing the requirements for each unit and submitting all quizzes on time is required. If you have any difficulties using the internet or this web platform, it is your responsibility to contact NSLI-Y staff to make the necessary arrangements to complete the course. Once the course has officially ended, we recommend continuing to review the material presented here. Remember: consistent, dedicated study now will give you the confidence to read and communicate as soon as you step off the plane in the host country. We understand and respect the many priorities you have in your lives, and completing your high school commitments should take precedence over this course. However, we ask that all participants complete this course in full prior to your arrival in Washington, DC. Successful completion will have a direct effect on your success on program.

You are welcome to use the forums provided under the "Discussions" tab to connect with other students, discuss strategies for studying, and share other Russian language and culture resources. Keep in mind, though, that these forums are intended for participant interaction, so if you have any questions about this pre-program course or the NSLI-Y program as a whole, or any concerns about meeting course requirements and your responsibilities, as outlined above, you should contact NSLI-Y staff at, or call the NSLI-Y team at (866) 790-2086.


Course content

  • I. Study Tips

  • II. Syllabus

  • III. Evaluation Calendar

  • Unit 1: Welcome to Russian!

  • Unit 2: Grammar Building Blocks

  • Unit 3: Asking Questions and Answering with Numbers

  • Unit 4: Introduction to Verbs and Time Phrases

  • Unit 5: Introducing Family

  • Unit 6: Key Survival Phrases

  • Useful Phrases Chart and Handbook

  • Additional Resources

Interested? Enroll to this course right now.

There is more to learn