On Wednesday, November 18, NSLI-Y Interactive hosted the virtual event "International Education Week (IEW) Panel on Citizen Diplomacy."

For International Education Week 2020, NSLI-Y Interactive hosted a panel of NSLI-Y alumni to share their NSLI-Y experiences, discuss what citizen diplomacy means to them, and tell how they engaged in citizen diplomacy on their NSLI-Y programs. This panel, which included alumni from in-person summer programs and virtual summer intensive programs, discussed different avenues for cultural diplomacy, including the arts, community service, and virtual exchange.

Diana Pham Photo 1

Diana is an alumna of the NSLI-Y 2017 Summer Arabic program and the Kennedy-Lugar YES Abroad program in 2018–2019 in Morocco. She is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Middle Eastern Studies. She is from Chicago, IL, and she is interested in learning how engineering and science can be used in international contexts.


Emma is an alumna of the NSLI-Y 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive Russian program. She is a current student at Columbia University. but will be home this semester in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her favorite thing about NSLI-Y this summer was having interactions with so many speakers from Moldova — including the founders of the first BBQ restaurants in Chisinau — all while being in the U.S. Even in a virtual environment, NSLI-Y was a life-changing and insightful experience.


Muhammad Ikram is an alumnus of the NSLI-Y 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive Arabic program. He is currently a senior in high school in Dallas, Texas. He plans on being an engineering major and then going to law school afterward. He believes that his NSLI-Y experience was above and beyond anything he could have imagined. From his outstanding teacher to his amazing classmates, his NSLI-Y summer experience didn't disappoint him by any means!


Xenia is an alumna of the NSLI-Y 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive Arabic program. She is a first-year student at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Xenia's senior year of high school was spent researching the photography of Moroccan artist Lalla Essaydi to examine beliefs of high school students in the central Pennsylvania region about gender and culture in the Middle East. She plans on continuing her passions for Middle Eastern studies, art history, and education for future international work.