Arianna posing for a photo

Arianna, Korean

Arianna is an alumna of the NSLI-Y Korean Summer Program in 2023 from Gambrills, Maryland. Arianna is passionate about languages, music, global activism, history, and STEAM. In College, Arianna plans to major in Mechanical Engineering, and minor in International Relations with a focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

My NSLI-Y experience was an unforgettable dream from start to finish. I cannot begin to explain how rewarding and inspirational this trip was for me. In less than two months I went from, "I am not good at Korean, and should practice more," to having full-on conversations in Korean with locals.

From our in-country orientation in Incheon, our time at Hanyang University in Seoul, to our graduation trip in Gangneung, there were many extraordinary memories during this adventure.

I will never forget exploring the World Heritage Hwaseong Fortress in my hometown Suwon with my host family; trying traditional Korean 빙수 Bingsu in Ikseon-dong with my supporter; cafe hopping and 노래방 (Karaoke) after school; 편의점 (convenience store) runs during class breaks; and cultural excursions with the cohort to King Sejong's museum, Lotte World, and the LG TWINS vs. Doosan Bears baseball game.

Through providing the opportunity for these experiences NSLI-Y has allowed me to foster relationships and friendships for a lifetime.

Arianna in traditional Korean attire.

What I treasure most about this experience is how my Korean skills have grown in such a short period of time. NSLI-Y gave me the resources to study Korean in a fun and rigorous environment with other students who were just as passionate about linguistics and global immersion. The most beneficial thing about learning Korean in Korea was taking what I learned in the classroom and applying it to the real world. Whether it be reading menus in Korean to order at restaurants, asking locals in Korean for help to navigate the city, or listening to the train stops on the 지하철 (train) there was always a way for me to immerse myself in the language and Korean culture.

I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life, and I believe the Best Moment is Yet to Come. This is my NSLI-Y experience in a nutshell: