All posts by Kyle Sandmann

Posted On December 23, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Korean

An Open Letter to My Host Sister

Treasure is from Washington D.C. and participated in the 2019 Korean Summer Program in South Korea.  To 황금빛, Study abroad is a challenge in and of itself. From the language barrier to navigating public transportation, every day comes with a new challenge. However, it’s in interactions with locals that you can find a support system while learning about the country on an intimate level. Studying abroad in Jeonju with NSLI-Y taught me about many principles of Korean society: hard work, perseverance, and unselfish giving. Although I had learned about theseRead More

Posted On December 17, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

The Sounds of Chaishan (柴山的聲音)

Sarah is from Plano, TX and participated in the 2018-19 Chinese (Mandarin) Academic Year program in Taiwan. In Taiwan, I spent most of my time at the university or with my host family. Whenever I found a free moment, though, there was one place I always returned to. It was a mountain called Chaishan (柴山), about a twenty minute bus ride from my university. I often climbed the mountain with my elderly Taiwanese friends. They were dedicated to the mountain and maintaining their health, and they climbed every day. AlthoughRead More

Posted On December 10, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Korean

NSLI-Y Broken Down: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners in Korea

Claire is from Atlanta, GA and participated in the 2019 Korean Summer Program in South Korea. 안녕하세요! 저는 클레어 입니다! 작년 여름에 전주시에서 한국어를 공부했어요. The day I received the notification from NSLI-Y about my acceptance to study Korean in Jeonju, I distinctly remember the wave of emotions that overwhelmed me as I sat, stunned, at my kitchen table. Not only was it a mixture of shock, excitement, and accomplishment, there was also a very distinguishable feeling that I had not expected: fear. Indeed, I was fearful of the experience.Read More

Posted On December 4, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Russian

Crashing Chisinau: My Summer in Moldova

AJ is from Elk River, MN and participated in the Russian Summer Program 2019 in Moldova.  AJ has always enjoyed learning about languages and linguistics. The first non-native language he learned was American Sign Language. He acquired this skill at the young age of five or six. As he got older, his interests shifted more to verbal languages. He studied French at an immersion school, picked up Hebrew at Shabbat services, and developed a taste for Soviet classics and Italian rap, among other examples. AJ went on to explore theRead More

Posted On November 26, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

My Experience in China / 我在中国的经历

Shivam is from Saratoga, CA and participated in the Chinese Summer program 2019 in China. As exciting as the prospect of studying abroad for an extended period of time is, there also many questions, concerns and worries. What food will I get to I eat? Will I get along well with my host family? Will I make friends? Will it be hard to learn the language? Questions like these tend to dominate one’s mind before embarking on a life-changing journey such as this one, at least for me they did.Read More

Posted On November 18, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Arabic

Identity, Nationality, and Community in Morocco

Shraddha is from Round Rock, TX and is participating in the NSLI-Y Arabic Academic Year 2019-2020 in Morocco. “American… hmmm, but where are you really from?” It’s a question I hear multiple times each day, and at this point, I’ve made it into a game, because as a brown girl, saying “American” is never a satisfactory response. “Guess,” I respond, “What do you think?” Occasionally, people are spot on, greeting me with “Namaste” on the street, but surprisingly, the most common nationality assigned to me has been “Syrian.” Often, afterRead More

Posted On November 14, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Russian

A Visit to the Matryoshka Factory

Julia is from Milwaukee, WI and participated in the 2019 Russian summer program. In Kirov, Matryoshka dolls are begun by splitting a piece of wood into four. Then a piece is selected, and inserted onto a lathe that spins parallel to the master carver so fast that the wood becomes a blur. Our group stood back and watched him work. He stood at the table with a long piece of metal that had something almost like a straight razor at one end. He would touch it to the spinning wood,Read More
International Education Week (IEW) – a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education – is a national effort to promote programs that prepare youth with 21st century skills in today’s globalized world and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange life experiences with Americans while sending American students to various countries abroad to study languages and build cultural ties.  IEW provides students and alumni on exchange programs such as NSLI-Y with the opportunity to share their culture and experiencesRead More
Pierce at a Pagoda in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Posted On November 7, 2019By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

My Best Advice: Worry vs. Reality

Pierce is from Virginia Beach, VA and participated in the 2019 Chinese summer program in Taiwan. The best advice I got before spending the summer in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, was from the handbook I received pre-program. It implored me to “expect everything to be much harder than you think it will be. Even basic daily tasks, like ordering food, are more difficult when done in an unfamiliar language and place.” At the time, this worried me. Had I gotten myself into something that I couldn’t handle? Was I in over myRead More