NSLI-Y Interactive not only describes the name of our blog, but also the sense of culture within the NSLI-Y community. NSLI-Y alumni interact with the community by writing stories on our blog, pursuing language and diplomacy academically, and supporting current participants. Read below some alumni interaction highlights from the 2017 Summer programs.
On July 4th, the NSLI-Y Persian (Tajiki) students were fortunate to have an NSLI-Y alumni guest speaker. Richard Porter, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, is a 2013 NSLI-Y alumnus and was in Dushanbe interning at the U.S. Embassy in the Political Affairs Section. Richard maintained his language skills by taking Persian classes at UVA and is now able to put his cultural and language skills to use through his internship at the U.S. Embassy. Richard took time to talk about his experiences with the students, and to answer their questions about being an NSLI-Y student as well as future opportunities that the students might be able to take advantage of as NSLI-Y alumni.
On July 12th, the NSLI-Y Russian participants had the chance to speak with several interesting guests at Narva College. First, U.S. Embassy Tallinn Pol-Econ Officer Brian Timm-Brock joined the students for lunch at Muna Café along with NSLI-Y alumnus and current U.S. Embassy-Tallin Intern Andrew Sobotka. Mr. Timm-Brock talked to the students about the work of the U.S. Embassy in Estonia. He answered questions about American businesses in Estonia and asked students about their experiences in Narva and with their host families. Through their conversation, students learned about a number of ways to serve the United States in both foreign and civil service, as well as opportunities for American businesses in Estonia. After lunch, the participants listened to a lecture in Russian by the Narva Customs and Border Control Director, who spoke with them about the important work of Border Control officials at the Narva Border Point.
Four NSLI-Y alumni joined current NSLI-Y Arabic participants for lunch at Qalam wa Lawh in Rabat, Morocco on July 13th. The participants were excited to share their experiences, hear about the program in years past, learn more about how NSLI-Y impacted and inspired previous participants, and receive advice on how to make the most of their experiences during their remaining time in Morocco and beyond. Many were surprised to find so many alumni in Morocco and remarked on how inspiring these alumni and their accomplishments are.
The alumni were Emily Miller (summer 2013 and academic year 2014-2015), a rising junior at Barnard College in New York City; Noor Sarwar (summer 2014 and academic year 2015-2016), a rising sophomore studying International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Brown University; Grace Rector (summer 2016), a rising freshman at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service; and Hattie Simon (summer 2013), a current student at The New School’s dual-degree program in Global Studies and Jazz Vocal Performance in New York City.
On July 14th, NSLI-Y alumna and current CLS participant Sophia Seidenberg visited with the NSLI-Y Hindi participants in Pune, India and shared her experiences learning Hindi as both an NSLI-Y participant and CLS participant. The NSLI-Y students sought Sophia’s advice for continuing their Hindi learning after the program and learned about the impact of her NSLI-Y experience on her academic and professional goals. Participant Kendall Johnson said that meeting Sophia enabled him to envision how his NSLI-Y experience could similarly help him achieve his goals such as participating in CLS.