What is the biggest difference between NSLI-Y and other study abroad programs? Who was Santa Clause for the school’s holiday party? What is in a “ping dong baozi”? What is it like to have a second hometown?

Watch NSLI-Y alumni Claire (’16-’17 Korean) and Joey (’16-’17 Chinese) answer these questions and chat about some of their favorite moments from their experience studying language abroad for an academic year. Claire and Joey were in New York City to share their experience and expertise with several of the 2017-2018 NSLI-Y Academic Year cohorts.

Claire, who is originally from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, spent the summer working as intern for her NSLI-Y implementing organization, iEARN-USA. She is currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota where she is planning to study Computer Science and Asian Languages and Literature. She is interested in the intersection between cross-cultural communication and human-computer interactions. Claire has kept up with her Korean language practice by meeting with language exchange partners every week. She plans to continue reading Korean books and possibly work with a language tutor this coming spring. Claire hopes to use her language skills to one day work in an international position where she can communicate and connect multiple cultures through technology.

Joey, who originally hails from Thibodaux, Louisiana, spent the summer working as an intern at the Alabama State House and was able to use his Chinese language skills when he served as an informal consultant with regard to Chinese foreign affairs for the Mayor of Montgomery, Todd Strange. Joey is currently attending Drexel University, where he is pursuing a major in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Chinese. Joey has been consistently using his Chinese skills to build relationships with students and professors who speak Chinese as their first language. He will be leading the Chinese Club this year. Joey plans to use Chinese in the engineering field by working for American engineering companies with research installation in China and Taiwan.