Culture Tag

Sawyer holding a Turkish greeting

Posted On September 25, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Turkish

Expectations Exceeded: Learning Virtually During a Pandemic

Sawyer is from Kensington, NH and an alumnus of the Turkish 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive program. Participating in the Virtual NSLI-Y Turkish Summer 2020 Program exceeded all of my expectations. I had applied to the program back in the fall with the expectation of being able to go to Turkey. But come spring after finding out I got in, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and it was announced that all Summer 2020 programs were going virtual. I was disappointed as a big reason I applied to the program wasRead More

Posted On September 17, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Indonesian

A Virtual Bridge Between Cultures

Zoey is from Rochester, MN and an alumna of the Indonesian 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive program. The NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive speaks true to its name: two hours of language instruction every weekday on Zoom, cultural classes on Sundays, cultural projects, two calls per week with our peer leaders, and completing the Global Competence Certificate. I looked forward to all of it. In those packed five weeks, I learned more and grew more online than I had imagined possible. Language classes contained a mix of vocabulary and images, basic grammarRead More
To ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) chose to make its summer program entirely virtual. The NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive (VSI) program of 2020 was a virtual alternative to NSLI-Y’s standard summer programming that aimed to provide an intensive virtual language learning experience for NSLI-Y students. The program ran for five weeks from July 6 – August 7, 2020, with programs in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Indonesian (Bahasa), Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Turkish, and Russian. In addition to providing anRead More
Caine and his classmates practice yoga virtually

Posted On September 4, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Hindi

I Am Become Death: An Essay on Sanskrit Literature

Caine is from Noblesville, IN and an alumnus of the Hindi 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive program. Over the past five weeks, I have been learning Hindi with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Virtual Summer Intensive (NSLI-Y VSI). The NSLI-Y VSI is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in which we dedicate five weeks to the study of a critical language—mine being Hindi. As the culmination of the program approached, I dedicated myself to the study of ancient Sanskrit literature. WhileRead More
Elias at a Buddhist Temple in Korea

Posted On August 28, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Korean

Buddhism in Korea

Elias is from Asheville, NC and an alumnus of the Korean AY 2019-20 program in Seoul, South Korea. After a temple stay cultural excursion with our implementing organization, my curiosity surrounding Buddhism sparked. The temple was only a short bus ride from where my host family lived, and my host mother encouraged me to go back after I told her how much I enjoyed my first experience. I would visit on weekends, and would practice yoga or meditations by myself on the grounds. One of the Nuns whom I had metRead More
Anna in a park in Beijing, China

Posted On August 7, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

The Lessons of the Wenwan Walnut

Anna is from Waxhaw, NC and an alumna of the 2019-2020 Chinese academic year program in Beijing, China. Melodious music flooded the area as the fountain flared its water to the beat of the music. As I looked around for a place to sit, I spotted an open area next to an elderly Chinese couple. I mustered up all my courage to sit next to them and strike up a conversation. Unexpectedly, what began as a simple hello grew into a discussion about our families, traveling experiences, homes, and evenRead More

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 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 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