Summer Tag

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
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
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
Grace in front of the famous temple at Petra, Jordan

Posted On July 31, 2020By Kyle SandmannIn Arabic

Potatoes and Tahini

Grace is from Meridian, ID and an alumna of the 2019 Arabic summer program in Amman, Jordan. I grew up in Meridian, Idaho, where I had limited exposure to other cultures, religions, and ethnic groups. In my geographic bubble, the only information I ever received about the Middle East was from the lens of 9/11 or what I heard my family members discussing at the dining room table. For the longest time, I didn’t even know Arabic was a language. However, since beginning my Arabic learning process five years ago inRead 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
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
NSLI-Y Turkish participants visit the office of the Ministry of Education in Bursa.

Posted On August 15, 2019By Meike FaberIn Turkish

A Summer in Turkey

Check out these highlights from our Summer 2019 Turkish program in Turkey! At the end of June, the NSLI-Y Turkish participants arrived in Istanbul and visited the U.S. Consulate where they were briefed by consulate staff and went on a tour of the compound. From there, the students traveled to Bursa and met their host families, started language classes, and met their peer language partners. The NSLI-Y students soon began enjoying spending time with their ‘Peer Language Partners’ doing various activities. One activity consisted of students finding common places inRead 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
David with his Galaxy Class

Posted On February 15, 2019By Meike FaberIn Korean

은하수에 닿으라 Reach for the Galaxy

David is from Furlong, PA and participated in the Korean Summer 2018 program.  The first day of Korean class was almost here. Most students were excited because Korean classes were going to start, but I was very worried. In reality, I did not previously learn Korean through classes or self-study. Because I had learned Korean by conversing with my Korean parents, I did not formally learn basic grammar. Therefore, I thought that I would not be able to follow along with the class. Will my Korean really improve? What willRead 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