All posts by Signe Knutson

Danielle and friends pictures in traditional Korean dress
Danielle is from Miami, FL and is an alumna of the 2017 Korean summer program. Some of the experiences I valued most that the NSLI-Y program provided me with were instances where I was provided with the opportunity to teach someone something new, that they may have never been able to understand otherwise. South Korea, a country I’d previously thought, as it was so technologically and economically forward, was a global society, similar to the U.S. in that knowledge about other cultures would be so easy to access, that everyoneRead More
webinar announcement
NSLI-Y Interactive welcomes you to join the first ever NSLI-Y Indonesian Alumni Webinar! NSLI-Y had its first Indonesian summer program this year and now alumni from the program would love to tell you about it. Join us for reflections, stories, and pictures from the summer program. This is a great opportunity to learn more about NSLI-Y’s newest language and program! Register HERE for the event. Speaker bios and pictures coming soon. If you require reasonable accommodations please note this in the registration form.Read More
Photo of Kate on a swing
Kate is from Madison, WI and participated in the 2017-18 Chinese AY program in Taiwan. Born in the Guangxi Zhuang region of China, Kate Jasenski was adopted at a year old. She grew up embracing American multiculturalism with both her American life and Chinese heritage as a large part of her identity. To increase her connection to her Chinese background, Kate wanted to learn Chinese to make connections and build relationships.   “Language is the most basic way people connect with one another. Connecting through language would help me better understandRead More
storytelling webinar announcement
NSLI-Y Interactive is excited to announce the first webinar of our virtual event season! This webinar will feature four alumni who will share how they have used stories from NSLI-Y in their lives and careers. From college applications to outreach to breaking regional stereotypes, these alumni have valuable insight and tips on how to effectively share about NSLI-Y. Prospective applicants and alumni are invited to attend! Register HERE for the event. If you require reasonable accommodations please note this in the registration form. Speaker Bios: Hi everyone! My name is CarolineRead More
Halle posing with her host parents

Posted On September 4, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Russian

My Second Family in Latvia

Halle is from Baltimore, MD and participated in the 2018 Russian summer program in Latvia. Before I came to live in Latvia for six weeks I knew that I wanted to live in a host family with siblings. I wanted to get the opportunity to bond with someone my age from a different culture than my own. Luckily, I got matched up with a wonderful family with 3 daughters. I’ll never forget the time when I met the youngest of three host siblings, the 2 year old named Veronica, whoRead More
Manasa with her Taiwanese friends
Manasa is from New Albany, OH and participated in the 2018 Chinese summer program in Taiwan. 大家好!我叫美娜,我是高中十二年级学生。这个夏天我去台湾学习中文。(Hi Everyone!My name is Manasa, a rising senior from Columbus, Ohio on the 2018 NSLI-Y Mandarin Chinese summer program in Taiwan.) I think it is very important to learn different languages so we are able to immerse ourselves in and appreciate cultures that are different from our own. It is always very important to remember that language and linguistics is something that is used in almost every single field. I experienced this first handRead More
Pictured are Madison and her host mom.

Posted On August 28, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Russian, Uncategorized

What Can I Say About Moscow?

Madison was a participant on the Russian summer program in 2017. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect – and talk– about the experiences I have had and the things I have learned over the summer. As with any intensive and unique experience, it is quite difficult to explain to “outsiders” exactly what my summer was “like.” It was incredible. It was hard, I tell them. A lot of homework, meetings, and endless adventures with my fellow American peers. I was always doing something. I made new lifelong friends, bothRead More
Roshni overlooking the beautiful scenery

Posted On August 23, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Hindi

Breaking My Cultural Iceberg: India’s Diversity

Roshni is from State College, PA and participated in the 2016 India summer program. You awake to the aroma of spices while putting on your school uniform, but it’s a new place. You say “सुप्रभात!” to greet your host mother and sister, but it’s a new language. The culture slowly immerses you with the natives, but it’s a new lifestyle. Now, you’ll experience the memories of living in India through the eyes of a NSLI-Y exchange student, me. The AFS cultural iceberg metaphor resonates with me—I observe the ice aboveRead More
Photo of a bustling street in India

Posted On August 21, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Hindi

My Favorite Activity

Fiona is from Hamden, CT and participated in the 2018 Hindi summer program in India. Within minutes of landing in Mumbai, my intrepid NSLI students and I were treated with a musical greeting of vehicular communication. It is tempting to characterize this intercourse as the honking of car horns, however the use of such an umbrella term as, “car” would exclude so many of India’s outlandish and colorful modes of transportation. Indian roads, as we soon came to realize, are just as whimsically chaotic as the various tones of theRead More
Zina wearing a traditional wedding sari

Posted On August 16, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Hindi

An Indian Wedding

Zina Dolan is from Urbana, IL and participated in the 2018 Hindi summer program. This week, I attended my first Indian wedding — and it was incredible. The day was full of traditions, colors, music, saris, family, and food. The groom was a friend of my host grandfather, so my entire host family attended the event. Several days before the wedding, my host mother invited me into her room to look at her collection of saris. In a family with a grandmother, a mother, and two sisters, there was no shortage ofRead More