Alumni Tag

Picture of Andrew holding dragon made out of candy.

Posted On August 1, 2018By Nicole WeitznerIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Alumni Spotlight: Andrew Leonard

After spending a transformative summer in Xian, China on the NSLI-Y program, Andrew Leonard arrived home to his New Hampshire school district that sadly did not offer Chinese courses as a foreign language option. Andrew, like many other young Americans, looked for more language options at home. First, Andrew tried online courses; “I enjoyed learning Mandarin so much during my summer NSLI-Y program in Xi’an that I looked for virtual options back home. However, online options were not as interactive and immersive as I was used to in China. I knewRead More
Picture of Allan in front of mosque by water.

Posted On July 20, 2018By Nicole WeitznerIn Arabic

Alumni Spotlight: Allan Cate

Allan is from Burke, VA and participated in the Arabic program in Morocco. At school, Allan sat next to a girl from Morocco and learned about the diversity and beauty of her country. Yet every day when he got home to watch the news, he noticed that any mention of countries like Morocco was passed up for images of war, violence, and extremism in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This desire to hear about Middle Eastern politics from a local perspective and to delveRead More
Alex with his host brother.

Posted On May 16, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Korean

Returning to Korea: One Year later

Alex is from Louisville, CO and participated in the 2014 Korea summer and 2016-2017 Korea academic year programs. 334 days, 11 hours, and 25 minutes after my initial departure, I find myself back in Seoul, South Korea; the city that was my home for 268 days, 10 hours, and 20 minutes. At first everything seems just as I left it, nothing changing, everything the same. I can still effortlessly navigate the subways by memory; I easily remember the location of my favorite candy at a local convenience store I frequented;Read More
CJ smiling with a friend.

Posted On May 1, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

Alumni Spotlight: C.J. Aragon

C.J. is from Albuquerque, NM and participated in the Arabic programs in Egypt and Morocco. There is a saying in the NSLI-Y community that, “you are just one C.J. away from knowing everyone.” Meaning, Carlo James Aragon (better known as C.J.) knows so many NSLI-Y alumni and applicants that you are sure to have him as a mutual acquaintance. C.J. has touched many in the NSLI-Y community, spanning across cultures and continents. C.J.’s passion for cross-cultural connections has shone through during his two NSLI-Y Arabic programs and time abroad inRead More
Alisa posing in a busy Chinese street.

Posted On April 16, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Discovering Myself in Chengdu

Alisa is from Short Hills, NJ and participated in the 2017 China summer program. During the first week of my program in Chengdu, China, I remember hearing a thought provoking statement during our visit to the U.S. Consulate. A foreign service officer explained to us that the relations between two countries are built on people-to-people interactions, more so than exchanges between media, government, etc. I remember thinking that this concept was so simple, yet so powerful. After finishing my program, I can now say with certainty that the people-to-people interactionsRead More
NSLI-Y Korea student Tobi and a soccer team.

Posted On March 21, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Korean

How Soccer Changed My Time in Korea

Oluwatobi is from Houston, Texas and participated in the 2017 Korea summer program. My relationship with my host family was great from the beginning. I played with my 2 younger host sisters, and I talked to my host mom frequently. However, my relationship with my host dad was a little awkward. Anytime we would run into each other, there were rushed greetings and rushed goodbyes. I am quite a shy person, and my host dad is too. We struggled to find things to connect over. It wasn’t until one ofRead More
Title slide of powerpoint
On March 21st alumni of the NSLI-Y Arabic summer program in Jordan shared about what their lives were like in Jordan on the NSLI-Y program. Following the presentation, audience members were invited to engage with the speakers during the live Q&A session. We invite you to watch the recording of the first virtual event showcasing the NSLI-Y program in Jordan. Click here to watch the Q&A. Introducing the speakers for the event: Organizer: Deni Hoxha – 2016 Summer My name is Deni Hoxha and I am from Worcester, MA. I studiedRead More
Outside of Mok Hyang.

Posted On March 5, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Korean

Mok Hyang Tea House in Insadong

Jacquelin is from Irvine,CA and participated in the 2017 Korea summer program. Another tea house I’m trying out! Probably my 3rd time experiencing a traditional tea house. Out of the other tea houses, Mok Hyang I rate it a 3/5. It’s in the middle range and is not bad. But there really isn’t much of a traditional experience to it. The tea house is located on the second floor of a traditional Hanok house and is pretty small compared to other tea houses I’ve been to. We sat at aRead More
A beautiful scenic panoramic picture of the beach.

Posted On February 21, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Korean

Not Just Another Day at the Beach

Sofia is from Mililani, HI and participated in the 2017 Korea summer program. I’ll be honest, my time with my host family wasn’t easy in the beginning. My host family and I were both very shy, and to make matters worse, none of them spoke English very well, with the exception of my little nine-year-old sister with whom I still couldn’t discuss international affairs or the intricacies of South Korean culture with. I was disappointed because I knew that the riveting and eye-opening discussions about culture and politics that IRead More
Carlie and her fan dancing team.

Posted On February 19, 2018By Signe KnutsonIn Korean

The Small Things Can Have the Biggest Impact

Carlie is from Dallas, TX and participated in the 2017 Korea summer program. For International Education Week I’ve decided to share one of my favorite experiences while studying in Seoul, South Korea over the summer. Every Seoul summer NSLI-Yan is required to choose a culture club to participate in each Friday during the program. I chose Fan Dance (부채춤), a Korean performing art where a group of dancers utilizes hand fans to create elegant shapes and stories. Soon after making my choice, I received some performance fans (부채) to bringRead More