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On November 16, 2017, current students on the Hindi academic year program shared about their community service experience in India so far and reflected on what it has meant to serve their local community and each other. The event took place during International Education Week, which celebrated the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. We invite you to watch the recording of this special event.

Click here to watch the Q&A.

Read about the NSLI-Y student speakers and watch their presentations below:

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Namaste! My name is Lucia and this year I am participating in the NSL-Y Hindi Academic Year program. I am a recent high school graduate from Austin, Texas. I really wanted to take a gap year before going to college and NSLI-Y presented the perfect opportunity to do so. I have always been interested in Indian culture...perhaps it was the watching “Bend It Like Beckham” more times than I care to admit. I accepted the NSLI-Y program in hopes that this experience would help me shed light on my college major along with future career interests. I am hopeful that my Hindi skills will help me in a potential career in foreign service. I grew up speaking Spanish and traveling to Mexico. I have been able to draw many parallels between Mexican and Indian cultures during my time here. Click here to watch Lucia's presentation.

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Namaste! My name is Megan and I'm a recent high school graduate from San Diego, California. I am currently studying Hindi in Indore, India, as an academic year student. I started learning Spanish in elementary school through a dual-immersion program which sparked my interest in language learning at an early age. After studying various Romance languages and living abroad through the program Amigos de las Américas, I decided it was time for a new challenge. I've always been attracted to the color and chaos of India, so I was very excited to get the chance to study Hindi through the NSLI-Y program. I hope that the Hindi skills I gain this year will enrich my International Relations studies next year and be beneficial in my future foreign service endeavors. I have loved learning about life here with my host family and friends and I'm thrilled to have so much more time to fully immerse myself in the language and culture.

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Hi! Mera naam Alice hai. I'm a high school junior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Through my dual-language Spanish and International Baccalaureate education, I learned the value of multiculturalism and the importance of language as a way of creating bridges across cultures. I have been fascinated by the diversity of languages and religions in India. Learning Hindi gives me a way to both learn more about Indian society and connect with people in ways that would not have been possible if I only spoke English. I have also enjoyed the intellectual challenge of learning a new grammar and system of writing. My favorite way to study is learning about my family's religious practices in our target language. I’ve learned more about the language, but also about other ways of seeing the world. I am passionate about women's rights and hope to use my language skills to focus on women's healthcare in the future. During the rest of my time in India, I hope to continue to learn more about the Hindu religion and different aspects of Indian culture, including the food, which I have come to love (especially paneer!).

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Hi! My name is Riah. I'm from the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, so I'm bringing the hippie culture here to Indore, India (so far the Indians I've met are loving ultimate frisbee but very skeptical about tye dye t-shirts). I chose to take a gap year because I wanted to go into college with an enhanced worldview and a better understanding of myself. I thought learning a language would be a great way to gain this perspective because language is a meaningful tool to connect with people of other cultures. I specifically chose to learn Hindi in India because I was fascinated by the vibrancy of Indian culture. Since coming to India, I have also learned to love the tight, supportive family communities, and the warmth with which visitors (even crazy Americans!) are welcomed. I hope to use my Hindi skills in the future to work with non-profits abroad and continue to develop relationships with Indians and Indian Americans. The Hindi I've learned so far has already paid off by enabling me to form lovely relationships with people I was completely unable to talk to just four months ago.

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Namaste! Hola! Hi! My name is Stephanie. I am currently on the Hindi Academic Year in Indore, India. I recently just graduated from high school so this year I am taking a gap year before college. My family comes from Latin American and speaks a second language so I have grown up learning to love speaking a second language and also appreciating the beauty of other cultures and traditions. In college, I hope to study international relations and also a third language. I chose NSLI-Y because I have a passion for learning about different customs and languages. One of the most important things I have come to value is the power of speaking Hindi and how speaking the colloquial language can strengthen one's experience and also understanding of a culture. I have learned much already and I can't wait to see how much more I will learn!