Life after NSLI-Y Tag

Aurelia with her YES Abroad host family
Aurelia Vanderwilde is an alumna of the 2018 Indonesian Summer program in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Two years ago, I studied abroad for six weeks on the NSLI-Y Indonesian summer program and this experience changed the trajectory of my life. I had always known that I wanted to study abroad, I took Chinese classes when I was younger and then participated in a Startalk summer program, which is where I learned about NSLI-Y. I first applied to NSLI-Y as a high school freshman but, was unfortunately not selected. The next year IRead More
Sam talking to children during a group activity
Sam O’Brien is an alumnus of the 2018 Indonesian Summer program in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Sam O’Brien was a participant on the inaugural NSLI-Y Indonesian program in the summer of 2018. Last summer, 2019, Sam traveled back to Jakarta, Indonesia, after he received a grant to intern with the Strategic Review, an Indonesian foreign affairs journal. The Strategic Review is a foreign policy journal that seeks to give an international platform to Indonesia’s top academics, government officials, and businesspeople. During his internship, Sam was responsible for social media rollouts and webRead 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

Posted On October 1, 2019By Meike FaberIn Persian (Tajiki), Uncategorized

Building a Library in Tajikistan

Abigail is from Wyckoff, New Jersey and participated in the 2018 NSLI-Y Summer Persian program in Tajikistan. After spending seven, life-changing weeks last summer with NSLI-Y in Dushanbe, Tajikistan became my second home. However, no home is perfect. Educational resources are extremely limited in Tajikistan, and I was motivated to give back to the country that had taught me so much. Last December, I launched an initiative to build a library in Tajikistan. Working with Sultan Akif, CEO and founder of the “Library in a Week” organization (they aim toRead More

Posted On September 16, 2019By Meike FaberIn Global

Life after NSLI-Y Virtual Event

On September 25, NSLI-Y Interactive hosted its first virtual event of the season. Life after NSLI-Y featured three alumni from different NSLI-Y programs who spoke about their NSLI-Y experiences, how NSLI-Y has impacted their life and career goals and any words of advice they have for future applicants. Special guest, Christopher Schwab, Program Officer at the Department of State also joined the event to share about future career opportunities for NSLI-Y alumni. Watch the recording of this webinar here and read more about the alumni speakers below! For more information about the 2020-2021Read More
New Semantics: Student Language Magazine
Vanessa is an alumna of the 2018 Summer NSLI-Y Persian program in Tajikistan and editor of New Semantics, a language blog-magazine. Vanessa recently organized the virtual event, NSLI-Y Alumni Insights (NAI) in collaboration with New Semantics.  New Semantics, is a blog-magazine that showcases student creative work and expert interviews, highlighting student passion for language and culture. Contributors have studied 16+ languages altogether, hailing from Kentucky to the United Arab Emirates. New Semantics thus illustrates the multitude of perspectives in our diverse world, joining them in this forum for cross-cultural dialogue. New Alumni Insights (NAI) isRead More
NSLI-Y Alumni at 2019 Workshop

Posted On March 14, 2019By Meike FaberIn Global

NSLI-Y Alumni Representative Workshop

On the first weekend of 2019, 18 NSLI-Y alumni flew into the nation’s capital for the 2019 NSLI-Y Alumni Representative Workshop. The training prepared us for a new leadership role and fostered deep friendships! Every hour of our stay was packed with informative, skill-building sessions meant to enable us to fulfill our roles. From a presentation about Department of State resources, to a leadership training session, event brainstorming activities, trivia competition, and a public speaking hour, we all left DC with a new understanding of what it means to be a NSLI-Y AlumniRead More
Vanessa in Tajikistan!

Posted On February 20, 2019By Meike FaberIn Persian (Tajiki)

Alumni Spotlight: Vanessa

Vanessa is from in New Brunswick, NJ and participated in the Persian Summer 2018 program in Tajikistan. Vanessa is a language lover, plain and simple. This is apparent from the multitude of languages she is studying. Vanessa is a Chinese American, and grew up speaking both Chinese and English. She also learned Spanish in school and self-taught herself Japanese. She loves to spend hours studying the syntax and structures of languages. Her linguaphile tendencies hit a pinnacle when she participated in an International Linguistics Competition in Dublin, Ireland. At the competition,Read More
Kristin with friends in Moldova

Posted On February 7, 2019By Meike FaberIn Russian

Learning to Communicate

Kristin is from Chicago, IL and Winter Haven, FL and participated in the Russia Summer 2015 program and the Moldova Academic Year 2017-2018 program. “What have you learned about the world from language study?” I was fifteen years old when I uncovered my love for languages. That summer, I completed the NSLI-Y program in Kirov, Russia. It changed my life and ignited a passion for language learning. The next summer I intensively studied Chinese at the University of Mississippi. This past school year, I participated in the NSLI-Y academic yearRead More
Picture of Andrew holding dragon made out of candy.

Posted On August 1, 2018By Nicole WeitznerIn Chinese (Mandarin)

Alumni Spotlight: Andrew

After spending a transformative summer in Xian, China on the NSLI-Y program, Andrew Leonard arrived home to his New Hampshire school district that sadly did not offer Chinese courses as a foreign language option. Andrew, like many other young Americans, looked for more language options at home. First, Andrew tried online courses; “I enjoyed learning Mandarin so much during my summer NSLI-Y program in Xi’an that I looked for virtual options back home. However, online options were not as interactive and immersive as I was used to in China. I knewRead More