Testimonials of National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Summer Program Participant

About NSLI-Y: The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program was launched in 2006 to promote critical language learning among American youth. The U.S. Department of State, in cooperation with American Councils for International Education, awards and administers merit-based scholarships to high school students for participation in summer and academic year immersion programs in locations where the eight NSLI-Y languages are spoken. NSLI-Y immerses participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them formal and informal language practice and sparking a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures. NSLI-Y program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

By Nandita Parekh

“I came to India as an Indian American girl familiar with Indian culture and media. As I entered Shishukunj  School and started talking to my host family, I realized that my years of watching Hindi movie, helped me pick up the language very quickly. A lot of Hindi words were similar to the language Gujarati, which I speak at home in America.  As I picked up the Hindi language, I was worried that I wouldn’t reach my NSLI-Y  language learning goals. However, during the next few weeks I realized that NSLI-Y wasn’t only about the language. The friends that I made in Indore and the memories I made with my host family were so valuable and lovely. I loved this experience so much because it was completely different from my expectations. The experience I had in India was invaluable and I am thankful that I got a chance to visit and meet such wonderful people.”