Language Learning Tag

Posted On August 14, 2017By Nicole WeitznerIn Turkish

Why NSLI-Y Matters: My Distinctive Experience

Watch Noah’s video montage of the sights seen during the NSLI-Y Turkey mid-year orientation in Antalya, a popular destination for sightseeing and the largest Turkish city on the Mediterranean coast. Below, he writes about how his experiences in Turkey have changed him and the true significance of cultural exchange.  By Noah, NSLI-Y Turkey, Academic Year 2014 – 2015 Whether it is the 14-year-old Syrian scrap metal collector, the Turkish soldiers on the train, or fishermen playing backgammon in the street, I am always willing to stop and have a discussion. BeforeRead More

Posted On August 14, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

Bringing Down Barriers: Nicholas in Morocco

Nicholas Wade’s future changed unexpectedly when he met a Foreign Service Officer at a career fair during his freshman year of high school. She described to him the life and work of a Foreign Service Officer; he immediately became interested in the career. When he asked what languages would be most important to learn, he was told that Arabic was in high demand. The officer also told him about the NSLI-Y scholarship to study less commonly taught languages. Because of that conversation, he began studying Arabic on his own afterRead More

Posted On August 14, 2017By Nicole WeitznerIn Arabic

“Embrace your Third Culture”

“Be proud of who you are… be proud of where you’re from, but embrace your third culture.” – Tania, NSLI-Y Morocco, Summer 2015 Excerpts from an interview with alumna Tania, NSLI-Y Morocco, Summer 2015 As one of few bilingual students in her southern Indiana elementary school, Tania identified language differences from an early age. Her Salvadoran family was the source of her Latina identity, but she recalls, “I was astounded by the amount of languages in the world.” Her curiosity led her online to pick up other languages and, years laterRead More
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
Group picture of NSLI-Y students and Youth Summit participants

Posted On August 1, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

NSLI-Y Arabic Students Present at 2017 iEARN Youth Summit

NSLI-Y students currently studying in Rabat, Morocco traveled to Marrakech to join the 2017 iEARN International Conference and Youth Summit from July 16 to 18. On July 16, the group visited and volunteered at the Amal Women’s Training Center and Moroccan Restaurant, a non-profit organization dedicated to the empowerment of disadvantaged women through restaurant training and job placement. While there, the NSLI-Y students learned how to cook some traditional Moroccan dishes, cleaned, and gardened. On July 17, the group attended the opening plenary sessions of the iEARN conference, and then attended YouthRead 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
Stephanie in Morocco

Posted On July 7, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

Alumna Awarded Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship

Stephanie Davidson grew up speaking Spanish and English because her mother is from Costa Rica; Stephanie lived there for a period with her family. In high school, she wanted to see more of the world and challenge herself with a third language. She discovered NSLI-Y and decided to apply for Arabic. She was interested in Arabic because it seemed new and challenging, because she was intrigued by the many similarities between Arabic and Latin American cultures, and because she wanted to get to know the Middle East beyond the newsRead More
Jordan pictured with his host family
Jordan “Bliss” Perry initially applied to NSLI-Y in 2016 to study Turkish; however, when the Turkish programs were temporarily suspended, he was offered the opportunity to study another language. He chose to study Hindi because he saw it as the most challenging for him. He had also been dedicated to studying Latin and Greek and the Western classics, and his teachers had recommended that he someday study Sanskrit. He saw studying Hindi as a step in that direction. One thing Bliss cherishes from his experience in India is his hostRead More
Birds eye view of empty orchestra seats

Posted On April 20, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

Moroccan Roll: Playing with a Moroccan Orchestra

Music has been a part of my life since I was in elementary school, sitting on my mom’s lap learning to read music notes on the piano at the same time I was learning to read letters in school. When I moved to Morocco to study Arabic through the NSLI-Y scholarship, I brought my cello in hopes that I would be able to find a way to continue playing music with others and that I might use music as a way to engage with my new community. [Last December] I wasRead More