Saturday, December 14, 2013

NSLI-Y semifinalist!

Hey again, everybody!

Not much new has gone down since the last time I wrote. I'm getting deeply into the holiday spirit that I missed so much at this time last year. Enjoying Christmas lights and music, and the delightfully large quantities of snow that have been falling in the last twenty-four hours here in Ann Arbor. Preparing for a trip to Italy with my mother over the holidays to visit my friends and relatives there. And not to mention, trying and failing to salvage my sanity as finals week begins to rear its ugly head once again.

But I also have been blessed with some incredible news:

For those of you who may not know it, NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth) is a State Department-sponsored youth scholarship which sends high school students abroad to learn languages not commonly taught in American schools, the ones they offer being Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish.
As they put it, "The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students 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."
Since my insatiable wanderlust and linguistic passions are stronger than ever, originally I was interested in pursuing an AFS summer program for this coming summer, in either Finland, as I've been fascinated by that country and its language and have wanted to travel there and learn Finnish for many years, or a Spanish speaking country (either Spain, Chile, or Paraguay). Unfortunately, it became clear fairly early on that an AFS summer program would not be a financially feasible undertaking. However, I applied to NSLI-Y in the fall for a summer program, with my top three languages choices being Turkish, Russian, and Persian (which send recipients to Turkey, Russia, and Tajikistan, respectively).

But I didn't want to mention it here until I had some idea of if I was going to go or not - and as of this past Wednesday, I do! :)
I was on my way home from school, reading a particularly beautiful passage from "Remains of the Day" by Kazuo Ishiguro, which I'm currently reading for my literature class, about a beautiful view of the sprawling English countryside seen from the peak of a hill, when my phone buzzed. I casually checked it, not at all expecting it to be anything noteworthy - a text or a Facebook notification, perhaps - and soon had to keep the scream that was waiting to burst out of me bundled up in my chest until I got home - because that buzz was the email informing me that I had been selected as a semifinalist! :D

This still does not mean that I got the scholarship or that I will get to go on one of these summer programs - I won't know that for sure until around March or April, and there's more paperwork to be filled out and an interview to be conducted between now and then.

But now I at least have a very significant hope that I will be able to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to dabble in a new foreign tongue and embark on another odyssey.
Hopefully you will see another post from me sometime in the near future, with the link to a new blog created for a NSLI-Y experience. :)

So (since I might as well practice all of my top choices), :
Güle güle!
до свидания!
!خدا حافظ
Goodbye for now, everyone. And happy holidays! :D

Hope to be back soon with good news,

PS - Here: A Close-Up Look at NSLI-Y Turkey is a link to a YouTube video about NSLI-Y in Turkey specifically. I tried to place it directly in the post, but it didn't work for some reason. 


  1. Congratulations! I'm a semifinalist, too. Russian, Hindi, Arabic. ^^ Good luck!!

  2. Oh that's awesome! Congratulations and good luck to you too :)