On April 20th, NSLI-Y Interactive hosted the virtual event “Chinese Classroom Connections.” Five current NSLI-Y Academic Year students in Taiwan gave presentations to two Chinese language classrooms in the U.S. The NSLI-Y students shared about the NSLI-Y program, host families, learning Chinese, and finding confidence, among other topics. After the presentations, the students in the U.S. asked the NSLI-Y students questions about their time in Taiwan so far. Please support these impressive young scholars by watching their presentations and by sharing this story or leaving a comment below.

Click here to watch the classroom introductions.

Click here to watch the Q&A.

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Hi! I am Katie Hein and my Chinese name is 李嵐. I am from Waukesha, Wisconsin and went to high school at Kettle Moraine Global. Next year, I will be attending University of Minnesota and plan to major in Linguistics and Chinese. I started studying Chinese in middle school, and since then I've always been hooked on becoming fluent in the language. My past year in Taiwan has been such a life-changing experience and has only increased my interest in studying Chinese.

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Hi, I'm Alisa Chen! I'm an alumna of the Chinese summer 2016 program in Zhuhai, was the Alumni Representative for the Great Lakes-Detroit region during 2017, and am currently on the Academic Year program in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I enjoy reading, hockey, snowboarding and hiking, and my favorite Asian cuisines are baozis (包子), hotpot (火鍋) and mango milk ice (芒果牛奶冰). I began studying Mandarin to learn more about my heritage and to be able to connect to my family on a deeper level; this is my fifth year studying the language. I will continue my studies at Reed College during the fall.

Click here to watch Alisa's presentation.

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Hi everyone, my name is Kate, and I hail from Madison, Wisconsin! I am an NSLI-Y Xi’an 2016 alumna and have been studying Chinese for about two and a half years now. I am a Chinese adoptee, and learning Chinese is a way for me to better connect with other 華人 (people of Chinese descent) and understand my own cultural identity. After NSLI-Y I’ll be attending American University with a double major in International Studies and Applied Statistics, with the goal of working on international policy analysis. While in Taiwan you can find me sipping bubble tea and enjoying the warm weather on Qijin Island.

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Hi, I’m Tyler! I’m eighteen from Pittsburgh, PA, USA, and I’m studying Chinese in Taiwan this year. I first got interested in Chinese when I just wanted to try something new during my Junior year of high school, and after that because I thought the characters looked cool, but the more I learned about the language, the more I learned about all of the amazing opportunities it opens up in my life! Right now, I believe that what drives me to continue learning Chinese is the ability it gives me to connect with a large portion of people in the world today. I especially think this will be important if I want to be involved in anything important on an international scale. I’ve always loved science and technology, and I firmly believe that open, international cooperation in these fields will only further development—a goal which can be helped greatly with knowledge of Chinese. My favorite two parts about my current studies in Taiwan are the people and the food. Everyone in Taiwan is exceptionally caring, and the food in Taiwan is simply first class! Click here to watch Tyler's presentation.

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My name is Greta Rauch (羅家睿) and I am from Downers Grove, IL. I'm the oldest of seven children and I love reading, skiing, robotics, and of course studying languages! I started studying Chinese as a high school freshman, and after my NSLI-Y summer program in Zhuhai, I resolved to achieve fluency. I will be attending the University of Notre Dame next year where I hope to major in Computer Science as well as study Chinese and Biblical Languages. Click here to watch Greta's presentation.