Coming Back Giving Back Tag

Lauren pictured with her host family at the airport
Starting a new chapter of my life at American University has made me reminiscent about my NSLI-Y experience in Zhuhai, China. Learning how to navigate a new city has reminded me of trying to blend in on the streets of Zhuhai, even though I was clearly a “老外”, or foreigner.  While it has been a few years since my NSLI-Y program, the lessons I learned both in and out of the classroom continue to contribute to my personal, academic, and professional growth. Being immersed in a different lifestyle with aRead More
Madeleine standing with peers in traditional outfits

Posted On July 31, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

A Dandelion in Marrakech

In military communities, there is a saying that military brats (children of service men and women) are like dandelions—they can grow anywhere. I reminded myself of this as I packed eight months’ worth of modest, desert-appropriate apparel into two large suitcases. In September of 2015, my mom drove me from Fort Bragg, NC, to Washington, DC, with my luggage and a complete lack of Arabic language skills, for my NSLI-Y Pre-Departure Orientation. A few days later, with my Resident Director and eleven other students, I boarded a plane headed toRead More
Shobhit at American Councils with Alumni Representatives
After being raised in a small town in Maryland, Shobhit Kumar had the opportunity to attend an international high school in New Mexico called United World College (UWC), where the majority of the students are international. While there, he was exposed to many foreign cultures for the first time. UWC is also where he first learned about NSLI-Y from peers. His decision to apply to learn Chinese was influenced by his Chinese friends at UWC; although they were close friends, he still felt a cultural gap. He concluded that studyingRead More
NSLI-Y students in Taiwan volunteer to clean up a local beach

Posted On December 5, 2016By Signe KnutsonIn Global

Happy 2016 International Volunteer Day

Happy International Volunteer Day! International Volunteer Day 2016’s theme #GlobalApplause – give volunteers a hand, recognizes volunteers worldwide and all they do in making peace and sustainable development a reality. In honor of the 2016 theme, NSLI-Y Interactive would like to highlight some of the volunteer efforts of current students and alumni of the NSLI-Y program. If you have a volunteering story you would like to share, please submit your story here: http://www.nsliy-interactive.org/submit-a-story/ Pictured above: current students on the NSLI-Y Taiwan program spent a Saturday afternoon cleaning up a beach near theirRead More

Posted On October 14, 2016By Elaine HuangIn Korean

Through the Eyes of a Host Family: Chapter 2

Through the Eyes of a Host Family: A collection of interviews on what it takes to be a successful student or host family, language learning, culture shock in both Korea and the U.S., and many more topics. By Alexi, NSLI-Y Korea AY 2015-2016 Chapter 2: Thoughts on the NSLI-Y Program, Advice to Future Host Families You have now received three American students who went to Korea to study Korean… Among the things you have learned from these students, what is the most important and interesting thing? 한국에서 교환학생을 3명 받았는데Read More

Posted On August 10, 2016By Signe KnutsonIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Pen Pals in China and the U.S.

My trip with NSLI-Y to Zhuhai, China was a life-changing experience. Never before had I been exposed to so much new culture, language, food, so many new people and new perspectives. My host family helped me understand Chinese culture more deeply than I thought possible. I felt so connected to people that I had only known for a few weeks, and I am still in deep gratitude to them for helping me widen my perspective to think about things from points of view I didn’t even know existed. The impactRead More

Posted On August 9, 2016By Nicole WeitznerIn Arabic

The NSLI-Y Journey Doesn’t End Here

Pre-Departure Orientations are a blur. Months of excitement and anticipation has built up, leading to a breakneck few days where you’re introduced to new people, new rules, and a new country. After the countless emails, web searches, and handouts, it is the tangible start to the NSLI-Y journey. My own PDO for Morocco in the summer of 2013 was jam-packed with dos and don’ts, trip itineraries, safety advice, and helpful vocabulary from iEARN staff and our Resident Director, to which my group responded with an unending stream of questions. WhileRead More
By Nilaya, NSLI-Y Persian, Tajikistan Summer 2014 My travel experiences in Tajikistan two summers ago with NSLI-Y inspired me to apply my knowledge of Persian-speaking territories to explore my interest of women’s rights. Last year, I decided to conduct an independent study project that consisted of over sixty hours of research on women’s issues in Afghanistan. As part of my research, I conducted a personal interview with Miss Naheed Samadi Bahram, the director of Women for Afghan Women, a civil society organization based in Afghanistan and New York which isRead More
NSLI-Y Alum at NYC Networking Event

Posted On May 4, 2016By Nicole WeitznerIn Global

Alumni Representatives Work to Build Community

This year the thirteen NSLI-Y Alumni Representatives have been working hard to strengthen the alumni network and connect alumni from all generations of the program. Recently networking events have been held in Philadelphia, New York, Atlanta and DC, and there are several more planned for the coming months. In New York, alumni met in January at the iEARN USA office for a networking pizza party where they shared stories of their study abroad experience. Alumni first did a speed-networking activity where they quickly spoke with everyone else at the event toRead More

Posted On May 2, 2016By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

One Way NSLI-Y Changed My Life

By Adam, NSLI-Y Morocco, Summer 2015 My experience as a NSLI-Y scholar in Rabat, Morocco, last summer was a turning point in my life. Apart from learning Arabic and enjoying the Moroccan culture, I met amazing people, from fellow American scholars to local Moroccans. One thing I did not anticipate was that I would become so passionate about helping refugees in my community. Influenced by other NSLI-Y students who had helped refugees in the U.S., and prompted to action by the unfolding tragedy of the Syrian refugees, I was setRead More