Abigail is a high school graduate and one of sixteen National Strategic Language for Youth scholarship recipients to travel to Beijing, China for the 2015-16 academic year with the American Councils for International Education. There they study Mandarin and learn about Chinese culture in the International School at Beijing No. 80 High School. During the week they live in campus dormitories and spend weekends and holidays with Chinese host families.
For Abby, being in China is the fulfillment of a dream that began with her first Mandarin class sophomore year of high school. Her junior summer, she received a STARTALK scholarship to study Mandarin at a two-week language immersion camp at Furman University in Greenville, SC. Speaking, listening and being taught in only Chinese was quite exhausting at first but ultimately very rewarding. Her goal for her time in Beijing is to make the most of each and every day!
The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs.
NSLI-Y is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world. Now more than ever, it is important that Americans have the necessary linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to promote international dialogue and support American engagement abroad. NSLI-Y aims to provide opportunities to American youth that will spark a lifetime interest in language learning.