Testimonials of National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Summer Program Participants
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 Nadine Abdul Rahim
“Being a Muslim American exchange student in India was quite thrilling to say the least. Going from being the minority to majority was thankfully a learning experience. One moment taught me more than anything. One day while talking to my Muslim friend Ayesha at school expressing how happy it made me to find Muslims in Queen’s College, she said to me “Why do you American care about castes so much? You’re always asking about the castes and what not, why? Nadine – We all have the same divine soul living in us. It lives in me, you, the Hindus, the Punjabis, everyone. We all are one- human. These castes define our belief systems and backgrounds but otherwise do not separate us like you think. We are one.” This message showed me how much my own American culture teaches us to separate people into boxes innately. Here in India, I have found the world that I’ve never had before and I’m beyond thankful. We truly are all ONE.”