Casady student studies Chinese in State Department immersive program

Nicholas Castilla, a Casady School senior, received a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship for 2022-23 from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Nicholas is studying Chinese at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan this summer.

Nicholas, competitively selected from more than 3,300 applications across the United States, is one of approximately 700 students studying Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Indonesian or Russian abroad and in virtual programs. While studying in Taiwan, Nicholas receives formal language training, lives with a host family, and experiences the local culture in an immersive environment.

Nicholas previously served as a US Senate Page in Washington DC for a semester and attended the University of Mississippi’s StarTalk Chinese Immersion Program on a scholarship from the US Department of Defense. He is currently the president of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Teen Board and a Class 22 member of Youth Leadership Oklahoma. Earlier this summer, Nicholas was elected Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma American Legion Boys State. He recently completed a one-semester competitive research program at Vanderbilt University.

The NSLI-Y program is part of a multi-agency U.S. government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to communicate in certain critical languages ​​to advance international dialogue and increase U.S. global economic competitiveness. The goals of the NSLI-Y program are: to promote critical language learning among young Americans; improve cross-cultural understanding and deepen trust; generate a lifelong interest in the foreign language and culture; and develop the skills needed to advance international dialogue, compete in the global marketplace, promote mutual understanding, and contribute to a more peaceful world.

NSLI-Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS-USA, American Cultural Exchange Service, AMIDEAST, iEARN-USA, the Russian American Foundation,

Stony Brook University, the University of Delaware, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of Wisconsin.

Applications for the 2023-2024 NSLI-Y programs are expected to be available at in late summer. For more information on all US State Department exchange programs for US high school students, visit
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