On October 27, 2021, NSLI-Y Interactive hosted the virtual event Artistic Pursuits on the NSLI-Y Program. At this free NSLI-Y Interactive virtual event, alumni from the NSLI-Y Hindi and Arabic summer and academic year programs presented on how they enhanced their program experience through creative hobbies and artistic endeavors. Panelists shared their personal experience on the NSLI-Y program, elaborated on the artistic projects they pursued on program, and gabe ideas for how to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the NSLI-Y program. Following the alumni's presentations, there was a Q&A session.

Meet the speakers:


Haadiya is an alumna of the 2018-2019 NSLI-Y Arabic Academic Year program in Morocco. She is currently a second-year undergraduate student pursuing degrees in Journalism, Global Studies, and Global Health. Since participating in NSLI-Y, she returned to Morocco for a semester through her university to further study Arabic and Moroccan culture, society, politics, and art. Her interest in cultural exchange through the arts also led her to intern at the Cultural Programs Division of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through the Virtual Student Federal Service program. In her free time, she enjoys photography, filming, working collaboratively with other artists and musicians, and spending time with her parrots.


Dana is an alumna of the 2015 and 2017-2018 NSLI-Y Arabic programs. She is currently a senior at Cornell University, where she studies Arabic linguistics and North African language revitalization movements in an interdisciplinary research program. NSLI-Y inspired her to seek out opportunities to share the joy of language learning with others. Since completing her program, she has taught both Arabic and English to youth and adults from around the world, developed and facilitated curriculum for virtual exchange programs, and continued her studies of Arabic through the SALAM, Sabla, and Critical Language Scholarship programs. In her free time, you can usually find her taking long walks around Ithaca, loudly singing Umm Kelthoum songs, or attempting to bake new things.


Megan is an alumna of the 2019 NSLI-Y Hindi Summer program. She is currently a second year university student studying Health Policy and Management and Chemistry on a pre-medical track. Since participating in NSLI-Y, Megan has decided to pursue a minor in Hindi-Urdu. In her free time, Megan enjoys dancing, playing soccer, and napping. In the future, Megan hopes to work as a gynecologic oncologist.


Bliss is an alumnus of the 2016 NSLI-Y Summer Hindi program held in Indore, India. As a student of classical languages, he chose to study Hindi because of his interest in examining the linguistic relations between Hindi (as well as its ancestor Sanskrit) and Latin and Ancient Greek, which he had studied in high school. In Indore, he spent his days attending the Shishukunj International School and living with a host family of over 10 people spanning three generations, including four host siblings.

Bliss hails from New York, N.Y., and graduated from Harvard College in 2021 with a joint bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Classical Languages and Literature. He currently resides in Washington D.C. and works at Palantir Technologies in the Product Development division. In his free time, Bliss has continued his love of learning languages, speaking Modern Greek and bits of Turkish and Farsi in addition to Hindi. Five years after his time in Indore, he remains in frequent contact with his host family and his friends from the 2016 Hindi cohort. He will always be grateful for the role NSLI-Y played in cementing his lifelong passions for languages, global affairs, and intercultural understanding.