Everyday Life Tag

Table of goods at Huimin Jie Market in Xi'an, China

Posted On August 21, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Huimin Jie Market

Aparna is from Madison, AL and an alumna of the 2019 Chinese summer program in Xi’an, China. Huimin Jie’s labyrinthine avenues are studded on either side with food stands and assorted shops. Vendors call to the throngs of patrons who trickle past the stalls, and it is the sizzles and scents of their frying meats and doughs that dominate the environment. To turn one corner is to come upon the pair of confectioners who pound with wooden hammers a stubborn chunk of crystal candy. Continuing the stroll, one will soonRead 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
A Full Plate of Homemade Dumplings

Posted On July 17, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Chinese (Mandarin)

When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Ekaterina is from New York, NY and an alumna of the Chinese AY 2019-20 program in Beijing, China & Taipei, Taiwan.  I glanced at my watch. 11 pm. December 31st. This was the first time that I went to bed on New Years Eve before 12 am. And I was okay with that. As I lay there, I thought through the events of the day: my host father, mother, and sister took me to the National Museum of China. There, they explained to me the history of Oracle bones, the evolutionRead 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 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
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
Gilda in traditional Korean dress

Posted On October 31, 2019By Meike FaberIn Korean

What I Learned Studying Abroad

Gilda is from Mastic, NY and participated in the 2018 Korean summer program in South Korea.  Having the opportunity to study abroad is a real blessing for anyone who loves to learn foreign languages and cultures. I studied in China as an exchange student when I was in elementary school, and the experience was so positive that I wanted to study abroad again. I found out about the NSLI-Y program when I was 13 and was immediately attracted to the idea of a program offering full immersion. NSLI-Y was a longRead More
Hassane in Taiwan

Posted On September 26, 2019By Meike FaberIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Being a Superhero Abroad

Hassane is from Westchester, NY and participated in the 2019 Summer Chinese program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Not all superheroes wear capes. Myself along with the fellow Taiwan participants didn’t wear super suits or costumes. Yet, we had superpowers abroad. When I first applied and earned acceptance to NSLI-Y, I had many expectations. I believed I would study Mandarin Chinese and immerse myself in Taiwanese culture. But, I not only left the island with a sense of Taiwanese life but also a realization of my own identity. I’m not a typical personRead More