Have you ever wondered what it’s like to study abroad and be immersed in another language and culture? Perhaps you are fascinated by the Turkish language and culture and want to learn more?

Join NSLI-Y interactive on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 and hear directly from students and alumni who are currently studying on the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program in Turkey or recently returned. These students and alumni will provide a window into the study abroad and language immersion experience for you or your students as they share their experiences and insights through their multimedia.

Learn about everyday life and traditions in Turkey as the students and alumni discuss their lives there and how they differ from life for teens in the U.S. Through their photos and videos, the students will explore such topics as living with a host family, going to school, learning a language abroad, food, local transportation, and their hobbies and activities. The audience will have a chance to ask the students and alumni questions at the end. See below for more details and how to participate.

When: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm EST

How to Participate:

  • If you are interested and able to commit to joining the virtual event, please click on the following link at 1:00 pm EST on Tuesday, October 27th to access the Adobe Connect conference room: http://iearn.adobeconnect.com/onedayinthelifeinturkey/. The link will not be available outside of the event hours.
<li>After clicking on the link, enter the room by selecting the “Enter as a Guest” option and filling in your name. A login and password are not necessary.</li>

NSLI-Y Student & Alumni Speakers:

Mary EleanorMary Eleanor

Mary Eleanor, 18, is a graduate of Saint Mary’s Academy in Englewood, Colorado. She first studied Tajiki in Dushanbe, Tajikistan with the summer NSLI-Y program. After this year, she will attend Vanderbilt University and plans to major in cognitive studies. Mary Eleanor hopes to pursue a career in autism research, with a focus on improving methods of communication. In her free time, Mary Eleanor enjoys hunting for Twister popsicles, taking the ferry across the Izmir bay, and exploring Turkish wilderness areas with her host family.


Gianna, 18, is from San Francisco, California. From a very early age, Gianna cultivated a love of languages and the innumerable opportunities for friendship and cultural exchange that language learning offers. At the age of five, she began learning Cantonese and Mandarin at a K-8th Chinese Immersion School, later acquired Spanish to reconnect with her Latina roots, and is now working on the daunting, but thrilling, Turkish puzzle. Gianna is also an avid reader, writer, and hiker. After her gap year in Turkey, Gianna will attend Macalester College in Minnesota, where she hopes to study international development, human rights, and humanitarianism. Ultimately, she hopes to utilize her language skills to do human rights work.


Gracie, 17, hails from Columbus, Indiana. She lived there her entire life prior to moving to Turkey, but was always interested in exploring other cultures. She finished her high school requirements in three years to do NSLI-Y for her senior year and is currently applying to colleges, where she will study international relations. In her junior year of high school, Gracie led an organization to raise awareness about dating violence and benefit her hometown domestic violence shelter. She has since taken an international interest in human rights and ending violence against women. She hopes to work with an international organization and use her language skills to that end. Gracie enjoys reading in Izmir’s cafes and practicing yoga.


Hank, 18, is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and is in his first year as a linguistics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed the NSLI-Y program in Ankara last summer, and is continuing to improve his Turkish in college. He also knows, to varying degrees, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and American Sign Language. While in college, he hopes to find opportunities to use the interpersonal, linguistic, and globally-oriented skills from his NSLI-Y experience to increase intercultural understanding. In addition to language learning, in his free time Hank enjoys learning more about social justice issues and global politics, helping other people go abroad, writing, and playing the ukulele.



After studying in Ankara as a NSLI-Y student, Krista is now doing the same thing in Izmir, which is better because it's by the ocean. Krista is 18 and has some plans for her future, but doesn't know where she's going to college. Krista loves Izmir, because she can take the train home from language class, and Krista loves trains and languages. Krista also plays the piano in her spare time. Krista wants to be a Foreign Service Officer (diplomat), and she wants to change the world.


Lars, 18, is from Freeport, Maine. A graduate of Freeport's Maine Coast Waldorf School, he is currently on the NSLI-Y academic year program in Izmir, Turkey. A lifelong interest in geography and international relations and the experience of spending four months in Freiburg, Germany as a high school 10th grader, provided the impetus for participating in this program. He is an avid reader, runner and skier, and enjoys nothing more than reading National Geographic, The New York Times, and similar publications. In Turkey, he is especially enjoying the food, the bazaars, the legendary Turkish hospitality, spending time with the other four NSLI-Y participants and making new friends. Following NSLI-Y, he plans to study politics and environmental studies.



Kyle is a current high school senior in Dallas, Texas. He participated in the NSLI-Y Turkey summer program this summer. He has always had a passion for global affairs, culture, and foreign language. Some of Kyle's fondest memories of Ankara, Turkey include attempting to bargain in order to practice Turkish skills, hearing the Call to Prayer broadcasted five times a day, eating dondurma, and playing hours of the quintessentially Turkish game, "OK." He enjoys traveling, photography, and any outdoor activity. Next year, he plans either to apply for a gap year scholarship abroad or attend a university, where he wants to study Environmental Science.

A shareable pdf flyer for the event can be found here.