Alumni Tag

Posted On January 8, 2020By Ligaya BeebeIn Korean

Once a NSLI-Yan Always a NSLI-Yan

Diogene is from Brooklyn, New York and participated in the 2017 Korean Summer Program in South Korea.  He is also a member of the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity and Equality Abroad) Committee. Over the summer, I was boarding a plane to a continent unknown to me. Although I spoke some of the language, I was not yet fluent, and my intention for the coming weeks was to practice it, while immersing myself in the culture. I made playlists with songs I knew I was going to listen to as I walkedRead More

Posted On January 6, 2020By Ligaya BeebeIn Korean

Reconnecting: Discussions with My Host Family

Tobi is from Houston, Texas and participated in the 2017 Korean Summer Program in South Korea.  She is also a member of the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity and Equality Abroad) Committee. After my time in Seoul two years ago, I made it a goal to keep in touch with my host family. They cheered me on throughout junior year and celebrated with me when I got accepted into Yale as well. I received many cute pictures of my younger host siblings. We would constantly send messages and pictures back and forthRead 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
Pablo Gutierrez’s music teacher gave him his first introduction to Chinese language and culture. To further this interest, he attended Mandarin Startalk summer language learning programs two years in a row. It was through StarTalk that he also learned about NSLI-Y and decided to apply. He participated in the 2016-2017 academic year program in Taiwan. Pablo was first struck by how different things were in Taiwan. From humorous things like garbage trucks playing whimsical music to more challenging aspects such as standing out as a foreigner, there was much toRead More

Posted On November 20, 2019By Ligaya BeebeIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Rewarding Challenges: Natalie in China

Natalie Johnson was raised in Milwaukee. As a child, she developed an interest in East Asia through her passion for anime. During her junior year of high school, she took a Global History class that covered modern Chinese history, which sparked a specific interest in China and a desire to experience it firsthand. At this time, she learned about NSLI-Y through her older sister. Her dreams came true when she participated in the summer 2014 and academic year 2015-16 programs in China. Her NSLI-Y experiences were rewarding, but also challenging.Read More

Posted On November 19, 2019By Ligaya BeebeIn 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 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