All posts by Kyle Sandmann

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