Program Associate, National Security Language Initiative for Youth | American Councils for International Education

by Sophie Cheung on August 9th, 2018   313 views

Based in Washington, DC, the Program Associate will assist in the administration and daily operation of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth program and support NSLI-Y activities. NSLI-Y is a critical component of a multi-agency federal initiative to increase U.S. citizens’ capacity to engage foreign governments and peoples through critical languages (Arabic, Chinese-Mandarin, Hindi, Korean, Persian-Tajiki, Russian, and Turkish). NSLI-Y is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and American Councils acts as the prime grantee collaborating with other partner organizations. NSLI-Y provides merit-based scholarships for eligible U.S. high schools students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. To learn more about the program, please visit the NSLI for Youth website at

The NSLI-Y Program Associate will report to the NSLI-Y Program Manager for Placement. This individual will work in the DC office supporting overseas intensive language programs for American high school students during the academic year and will ideally serve as Resident Director leading students on an intensive Mandarin Chinese summer institute in China for four to six weeks during summers.


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Job Description


  • Assists in planning, development, and implementation of overseas language immersion programs for high school students with a primary focus on Mandarin Chinese language institutes in China;
  • Works with host institution partners to ensure effective pre-program planning and on-program administration of intensive language programs;
  • Coordinates and facilitates host family placements in partnership with Chinese language institutes, including ensuring appropriate forms and paperwork have been completed correctly;
  • Develops Mandarin Chinese-language enhancement materials for participants on overseas programs;
  • Develops content for pre-departure orientations;
  • Assists in the planning and coordination of events, including pre-departure webinars and orientations;
  • Assists in management of program databases;
  • Contributes to program reports and other materials for and about overseas programs;
  • Advises program participants and staff as needed on a variety of language learning, cultural, adjustment, and logistical issues
  • Arranges group travel and cultural programs, including volunteer opportunities and program events (varies by program);
  • Assists in daily operations by addressing administrative needs;
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Education, Area Studies, language or a related field; Master’s degree preferred;
  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills;
  • Advanced written and oral language skills (minimum 2/2+ on ACTFL scale) in Mandarin Chinese;
  • Study, work, or extensive travel experience in China;
  • Experience working in a position of authority with students (experience working with high school students strongly preferred);
  • Experience and interest in international education, study abroad, or federally funded programs for cultural exchange;
  • Ability to handle high volumes of communication with a variety of individuals effectively and professionally;
  • Experience engaging and motivating students in creative and effective ways;
  • Demonstrated skills in academic and personal counseling;
  • Strong interpersonal skills;
  • Strong abilities in Microsoft Office Suite including Microsoft Excel;
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team;
  • Ability to multi-task effectively;
  • Ability to exercise problem-solving skills, good judgment, and discretion;
  • Ability to approach challenges with flexibility and a positive attitude;
  • Professional experience with administrative responsibilities; and
  • Demonstrated skills in general financial accountability.



How to Apply

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