Youth Connections
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Youth Connections
Stories and adventures of student language learning and cultural exchange
Curated by Jennifer iEARN
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Apply Now for NSLI-Y 2013-2014 Programs

Apply Now for NSLI-Y 2013-2014 Programs | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

Apply today to learn language through an overseas immersion experience!

The application deadline for 2013-14 programs is
November 1, 2012.

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NSLI-Y4 KOREA Academic Year

NSLI-Y4 KOREA Academic Year | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

Check out the group blog for stories from the first few days in South Korea for 11 American High School students.

 

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NSLI-Y Students Return to the U.S. After Study in China and Korea

NSLI-Y Students Return to the U.S. After Study in China and Korea | Youth Connections | Scoop.it
NSLI-Y scholarship recipients return to the U.S. after 6 weeks of intensive language study. This summer, 50 students traveled to Seoul, South Korea and 20 students traveled to Zhuhai, China.
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NSLI-Y Morocco & India Students Return to U.S.

NSLI-Y Morocco & India Students Return to U.S. | Youth Connections | Scoop.it
We welcome 35 NSLI-Y students back after six weeks of intensive language study and cultural immersion in Morocco and India. Students studied Arabic and Hindi language as part of a State Department funded scholarship program.
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Korea Summer Newsletter

Korea Summer Newsletter | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

This newsletter includes stories and highlights from students studying the Korean language in Seoul. Updates include photos and videos of students engaging in a variety of cultural activities.

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Today's Photo: July 26, 2012 - Daily News from Korea

Today's Photo: July 26, 2012 - Daily News from Korea | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

Students studying Korean pictured in local news:

American youngsters hold up Korean traditional masks they made during a cultural program at Sookmyung University in Seoul on Wednesday.

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When in doubt, Laugh.

When in doubt, Laugh. | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

NSLI-Y student in Morocco shares her reflections about adjusting to a new language and a new family.

 

"The language barrier is not even a factor. If Kaoutar isn't home to help me translate what I am saying, I don't let the in intimidation of using Arabic get me down. I usually just give it my best shot, and if I mess up, which happens 95% of the time, we all get a good laugh. I have found that if I don't understand what someone is trying to tell me or if no one can understand me, laughing usually makes everyone feel more comfortable and less frustrated."

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한류, K팝을 넘어 전통문화로

NSLI-Y Korea students practice their language skills and learn more about Korean culture through cooking classes at culinary school in Seoul.

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NSLI-Y India and China Students Connect with Local Youth

NSLI-Y India and China Students Connect with Local Youth | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

In both India and China, NSLI-Y students from the U.S. are quickly building new friendships with local youth through community service activities and language partnerships. Both groups are excited to make new friends to further their language and cultural exchange.

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US students visit Kalmadi high school - The Times of India

US students visit Kalmadi high school - The Times of India | Youth Connections | Scoop.it
About 20 students from the US visited the Shamrao Kalmadi High School, Ganeshnagar, recently under a youth exchange programme initiated by iEARN India, an educational and resource organisation.

Via iEARN-USA
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NSLI-Y Student Orientations in NYC

NSLI-Y Student Orientations in NYC | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

In preparation for their six week intensive language learning program and cultural immersion experience, 105 high school students from across the U.S. attend orientations in New York before departing for China, Morocco, India, and South Korea

 

From June 22nd to July 3rd, four NSLI-Y student cohorts arrived in New York and attended a three day orientation to prepare them for their language learning program abroad. During the pre-departure orientation, students set realistic expectations for getting to know their host family, learning about the culture, and managing culture shock. Students also set specific goals for language learning.

 

The orientation included NSLI-Y participants’ first language class with their Resident Director, discussions about safety and security while abroad, and a question and answer panel with NSLI-Y alumni. Alumni gave language learning tips, advice for adjusting to a new culture, and shared many fun anecdotes from their experience. Representatives from the Department of State's Educational and Cultural Affairs Bureau also attended the orientation and presented their experiences in learning foreign languages and answered student questions about the foreign service.

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新同學影片!Advice for Students in Taiwan

NSLI-Y students studying Chinese for a year in Taiwan give their advice for furture students. They give helpful tips for learning the language, adjustind to the culture, and living with a host family.

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Starr's Mill student to study in China | The Citizen

Starr's Mill student to study in China | The Citizen | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

NSLI-Y China student featured in local news:

 

The NSLI-Y scholarship enables Traeger to study Chinese in China for the summer. The scholarship covers all program costs for participants including domestic and international travel; tuition and related academic preparation; language testing; educational and cultural activities focused on language learning; orientations; meals; and accommodations, commonly with a host family.

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New Cohort of NSLI-Y Korea Students Start the School Year

New Cohort of NSLI-Y Korea Students Start the School Year | Youth Connections | Scoop.it
Eleven high school students from the U.S. begin their first day of class with their South Korean peers as part of the NSLI-Y language scholarship program. The group will study Korean for the 2012-2013 school year.
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Bright Start to the Academic Year for NSLI-Y Students in Taiwan

Bright Start to the Academic Year for NSLI-Y Students in Taiwan | Youth Connections | Scoop.it
Five NSLI-Y scholarship recipients arrive in Taiwan and begin their intensive Chinese language program. Students will live with host families and attend classes in Mandarin Chinese at a local college for the 2012-2013 academic year.
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不畏颱風攪局 iEARN台灣籌辦文化見面會 美高中生種下來台新願望 - NSLI-Y Taiwan

不畏颱風攪局 iEARN台灣籌辦文化見面會 美高中生種下來台新願望 - NSLI-Y Taiwan | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

5 NSLI-Y students arrive in Taiwan and prepare for to study Mandarin Chinese for the academic year.

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Putting Arabic Language Skills to Use

Putting Arabic Language Skills to Use | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

During an excursion to Chefchaouen and a trip to the market, one student writes about putting her Arabic language skills to use:

 

"Since I'm obviously a tourist, the prices shopkeepers give me are usually much steeper than the prices they would give a native speaker. Although I'll never be able to completely avoid this problem, I decided I could try and do something about it by not revealing how much of a beginner I am. Through a combination of using as much Arabic as I could, finally knowing my numbers well, and acting confident even when I wasn't entirely sure what was going on, I was able to secure a really good price for some napkins for my mother. Even our Moroccan tour guide was impressed with the price I got!


Scoring such a good bargain as a result of my Arabic skills made me feel like a true Moroccan native."

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China Summer Newsletter

China Summer Newsletter | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

Newsletter with stories and highlights from students studying Mandarin in Zhuhai.

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NSLI-Y Alumni Return to Korea for World Expo

NSLI-Y Alumni Return to Korea for World Expo | Youth Connections | Scoop.it
Five NSLI-Y alumni visit Korea as US ambassadors to the Yeosu International Expo. Alumni meet with current NSLI-Y Korea students to share their experience and tips for success in language learning.
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American Students Sing in Hindi

Twenty American Students who are visiting India for six weeks to learn Hindi under the National Security Language Initiative for Youth sung this song at the end of their orientation program in Pune on June 28, 2012

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NSLI-Y Taiwan closing ceremony highlight

NSLI-Y Taiwan closing ceremony highlight...

Via iEARN-USA
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Student Reflections on an Excursion to Fes, Morocco

Student Reflections on an Excursion to Fes, Morocco | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

"Our first weekend in Morocco we visited a city called Fez. The two pictures I posted are in the Medina (Old City). It is a beautiful walled in old city with no cars. I absoloutley loved the energy of the place. The people, colors, shops, sounds, and smells are still present with me today. I loved how traditional it all seemed. We visited a silk workshop, leather tannery, and spice shop. It was so cool to see the people doing day to day tasks using donkeys, horses, and wagons. It is so different from what we see in the U.S. It is an unexplainable feeling to expeirence another culture and to have everything feel so new and different to you."

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Morocco Student shares about trip to the Sahara

Morocco Student shares about trip to the Sahara | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

Rain. And not expecting the expected. -by Pearl

 

We left for the Sahara last Friday. On a bus.

 

Everyone was excited.

 

This was a defining moment for me, the pinnacle of my (extraordinarily minimal) exotic travels. Coming from Washington State I’m used to the rain - it would be with only slight exaggeration that I claim to sometimes forgetting what the sun feels like.

 

Sahara however means desert (in Arabic, ‘Sahara’ is translated as the literally noun). It doesn’t get much more promising then that – this was as far away from home as I could get.

And we drove ten hours, and it took two days, and we visited several places, and petted monkeys, and danced to drums, and ate tajine and drank tea – we bought turbans.

 

Around 6 o’clock we pull into our ‘final destination’ – the official Sahara, sand dunes and saddled camels and the whole cha-bang. We were packed into 4x4s, 6 of us to a car. We sat there waiting to buy water. Hot, exhausted, and slightly nauseous. I was looking out the window, watching Ryan standing outside in his pink shirt. And then he looked up at the sky. And then I saw him look back at us through the dusty car window. And then he looked up at the sky.

And then it started RAINING.

 

And we sat there in the car, packed liked sardines and wrapped in sweaty headscarves. Two boys on a broken bicycle pulled up beside the car, soaking wet and laughing. And looking at us and laughing.

 

And our dear sweet mother Nabella, who may not have slept the previous night due to circumstances very much in our control, cried out in a comically exhausted hysteria – “Is it actually raining!?”

 

And I just laughed and laughed and laughed. We were rocking that overcrowded van we were laughing so hard. And the boys outside were watching us and laughing. And it was raining. And there was thunder and lightning. And I was crying I was laughing so hard.

And that was the start to our trip in the Sahara.

It was pretty fun.

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مرحبا إلى المغرب: Excursion to Volubulis

مرحبا إلى المغرب: Excursion to Volubulis | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

NSLI-Y students in Morocco travel to volubulis and visit Roman ruins dating back to the 3rd century!

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Opinion: Chasing the American Dream — to China

Opinion: Chasing the American Dream — to China | Youth Connections | Scoop.it

NSLI-Y China Mom writes about her son's participation in the program:

 

My son doesn’t know it, but we have been preparing him for this since he was in the 7th grade. We started by sending him five hours away to New Hampshire, then 10 hours away to Michigan — further and further from home. This summer, as a 15-year-old, he will travel to China to study Mandarin Chinese, as well as the country’s culture and economics, at the Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai.

 

He’s going with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth, all expenses paid and sponsored by the United States government. Our government has the right idea. For years, families from around the world have sent their children here to go to college or work, and then bring American wealth and ideals back to their home countries. In this ever-growing global economy, families here in the United States must prepare our children to go away, then come back to contribute what they have learned.

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