Student Reflections Tag

Justin pictured with friends in a scenic mountainous picture.
Justin is from Salem, Oregon and participated in the 2017 China summer program. Weary-eyed, all twenty-one of us dragged our luggage down to the lobby of the academic building, taking our last looks around the school we had called our own for the past six weeks. I glanced around at the glass windows, the marble floors, the little coffee tables, and chairs off to the side. Memories flooded my mind – I remembered the morning I ran into this lobby, clutching my backpack tight, sweat raining from my temples andRead More

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
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
Eid lunch

Posted On July 11, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

Celebrating Eid in Rabat, Morocco

During Eid, I spent the majority of the day with my host family visiting relatives. In the morning, I woke up to a leisure breakfast filled with round pancake-like bread foods everyone would spread Laughing Cow cheese, honey or a jam over them. There were also traditional Moroccan almond sweets, mint tea and croissants. . After being stuffed from breakfast, my host mom and I made lunch together. It was a traditional cooked chicken with steamed angel hair pasta, topped with sugar, cinnamon, almonds and raisins. The chicken was seasonedRead More
Alice's teachers and language partners.

Posted On May 19, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Back in Zhuhai

冬天的时候我(有一点开玩笑的)问了我妈妈我能春假去中国吗。我的朋友们想去佛罗里达和波多黎各,请了我跟他们,但是我对这些地方没感兴趣。我妈妈,令我吃惊,说应该可以。我爸爸也说过我应该去看我的奶奶应为他八十多岁了,我差不多八年都没看见他了。所以我们定了我春假会去深圳! 我学中文的时候常常记得因为我家是中国人我多幸运。这样,我就能春假回中国!我在深圳跟我小叔带了两个星期。从深圳到珠海子要做一个小时的船,所以我去了珠海看我的寄宿家庭,老师们,和语言伙伴。 我一到珠海就觉得跟以前不一样。身在的Alisa觉得这个天气可太热了,但是上个夏天的Alisa会觉得这春天的天气还太凉了。我跟我小叔走到我寄宿家庭的家看到了一个星的酒店!我没在珠海的时候做了一个星的酒店!这可真疯。我阿姨做的饭还是非常好吃。我的叔叔还是警察,但是阿姨现在有工作了。我妹妹现在学习身在更紧张,明年得靠高考了。我特别想他们,在他们家吃饭,聊天,和睡觉像个梦想一样。洗澡,刷牙,跟妹妹聊,都像以前一样,但是这起还是有一些区别。几乎是一样的,但是我夏天在这里住跟我来看他们查九个月。 我中饭去了北师大珠海分校吃饭了。学校看着一样,但是现在我不是这里的学生。在我以前的教室里看有一些中国学生上课呢。我从窗外看了看,里面的老师看见我了,我不好意思的走了。 跟老师们和语言伙伴吃饭的时候发现我两个老师和亨利的语言伙伴都毕业了!他们下个学期会去英国学研究所,去深圳打工,和在中国学研究所。我们聊天聊的可开心了,但是老师们两点得走因为是坐火车过来的。我小叔请我们喝 Comebuy。我们分手的时候喝着奶茶,就像夏天一样。 Back in the winter I (jokingly) asked my mom if I could go to China for spring break. My friends had invited me to go to Florida or Puerto Rico with them, but I didn’t really want to go to either. My mom, to my surprise, said I should be able to. My dad also said that I should go visit my grandma because she’s almost 87 and I haven’t seen her in 8 years. So it was settled, I would go to ShenzhenRead More
Meenu taking a selfie along with her host family and NSLI-Y peer.

Posted On May 17, 2017By Signe KnutsonIn Arabic

My Summer Sojourn

A few months ago, I submitted a writing piece to the PTA Reflections Arts Contest in the Literature category. The theme for 2016-2017 was “What is Your Story?” What better story to submit than my summer in Jordan with NSLI-Y? It went on to place 2nd in the state (AL) and was featured in the Madison County Record, our local paper. Here it is below: Olivia’s phone blares with the signature iPhone alarm sound. I blearily open my eyes, squinting as the rays of bright sun peeks through the blinds,Read More