While some parents are excited for their son or daughter to study abroad, others may be nervous. The student may be ready and eager to dive into a new culture far from home, but the parents’ concern is often focused on safety and security. NSLI-Y’s first priority is student safety and security; the program’s safety measures are outlined on the Parents tab of the NSLI-Y website. However, NSLI-Y was fortunate to receive several testimonials from parents and alumni that addresses safety and security on NSLI-Y. In the following videos, parents and NSLI-Y alumni provide advice to applicants and their families and discuss topics like how they managed their nerves and uncertainties about study abroad, challenges overcome, and how NSLI-Y was meaningful for the student.

Parent and Alumni Testimonials:

Sarah (Chinese Summer 2017) and parents Joe and Carol

“In terms of how meaningful [NSLI-Y] was for me, what stood out to me the most was the connections I made with people, particularly with my host sister and my language partner. My host sister was just this wonderful human being and she and I had a lot of common interests … and we would help each other pronounce things in our different languages. And that connection, it really helped me to feel welcome in my host family’s home and culture and it was so hard to say good-bye because of how strong of a connection we had formed…. Also, I felt like I learned to handle a degree of independence and freedom in a very foreign situation. I had never been in a big city before, I had never taken public transportation before, let alone in a different language. So learning to navigate that and have a sort of independence that I’ve never had before was something that I feel has carried forward now after my time at NSLI-Y and helped me at life in general.”

Bear (parent of Natasha – Korean Summer 2017)

“As parents, one of the scariest things that could happen when your child is away from you, especially in a foreign country, is for them to become ill. And we had that situation twice. Once when she was in transition on her way to Korea and another time when she was actually with her host family. In both instances, we were incredibly impressed and comforted by the immediate action taken by the family and the NSLI-Y team to make sure that she was taken care of. There was never a time when we were concerned for her health. We knew that there was tremendous communication and coordination and her welfare and safety was taken care of.”

Matthew (Chinese Summer 2017) and parent Christine

The NSLI-Y application “can be a little intimidating, but my one advice to any parent and any student looking at this is it’s worth investing your time in this application. And worse comes to worst, it actually teaches the student how to fill out an extensive application and that in itself is a fruitful learning experience.”

Pamela (Russian Academic Year 2016-17) and parent Janice

“One thing that really impressed me was I thought that we would have an orientation before and then we’re in Moldova and they send us off and they kind of let us free. But it wasn’t like that at all. The NSLI-Y administration does a really good job organizing and keeping a dialogue between the people in the countries and the people back in Washington…. I was in constant contact with my mom, who was in contact with the resident director, who was in contact with NSLI-Y [staff] in Washington.”