Lauren Dudley, a junior at Desert Vista High School, will be enjoying her summer vacation by studying abroad for six weeks in China.
She was able to earn a chance to study in China by receiving a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship.
According to the NSLI-Y press release, the NSLI-Y program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less-commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs.
The State Department offers approximately 625 students per year the opportunity to study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian or Turkish overseas through NSLI-Y.
The goals of the NSLI-Y program include sparking a lifelong interest in foreign languages and cultures, and developing a corps of young Americans with the skills necessary to advance international dialogue and cross-cultural opportunities in the private, academic and government sectors, according to the NSLI-Y press release.
During her six weeks in China, Dudley will be immersing herself into the Chinese culture and will be learning the fundamentals of speaking Mandarin at Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai.
Dudley said she was excited for the opportunity to learn what Chinese culture has to offer.
She has been preparing for the trip by completing different homework assignments and attending regular webinars with other students who will also be studying abroad.
“The goal of the program is to have American students learn critical languages. I’ll be going to the university Monday through Friday to get a language immersion and learn Mandarin,” she said.
Studying abroad will give Dudley the opportunity to further her interest in international business.
“I’m interested in Chinese history and politics … I think it will be really beneficially to learn the language for my future,” Dudley said.
Although the trip will consist of many hours of schooling, Dudley will have some downtime to explore China, and will be visiting Hong Kong during her stay.
“Doing these programs really helps to learn more about the culture,” Dudley said. “I’m really looking forward to learning and understanding the language, and see how everything works there.”
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