Get a glimpse into some of the things that NSLI-Y students have been doing during their time in Russia.
Thanks to the help of the Afina Center, their host institution in Gatchina, the American students have been placed with families that have teenaged children. These host siblings have provided an invaluable window into the host culture, and are helping the American students adapt to their new home. These personal connections have helped transform Russia from an enigmatic country into a multi-faceted nation made up of diverse people not so unlike themselves.
The American students are already using colloquial Russian they wouldn’t find in a textbook and are becoming more confident each day. Lessons from host family members extend to culture as well.
In just three weeks, the students feel a deep connection to the Russian culture and to Gatchina. They’ve formed strong bonds with their host families and acted as cultural ambassadors on behalf of the United States.
Betsy Meyer, Deputy Press Attache at the U.S. Embassy Moscow and interim Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate St. Petersburg, traveled to Gatchina to meet with the American Councils NSLI-Y Russian language program participants as they wrapped up their final week on program. Ms. Meyer discussed her educational background and interest in the foreign service, as well as her experience as a former exchange student and how great cultural and language knowledge has benefited her both personally and professionally. Students also had a chance to ask questions that expressed their interest in working for the State Department in the future.