The National Security Language Initiative For Youth

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Last semester I was in India with a study abroad program sponsored by the State Department. The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) was created in part to learn languages not often spoken in the United States but also to create cross cultural education and understanding. World peace can be achieved by broadening each other’s perspectives through everyday interactions. This idea forms an essential part of NSLI-Y’s mission: that we can improve understanding between our country and others, and this is achievable if each one of us decides to be the change that we hope to see in our communities. This mission aligns with both my personal and future professional missions, and as a NSLI-Y student and alumna, I am able to be ambassador, building connections between communities through everyday interactions, volunteering, and speaking about my study abroad experience. Therefore, as a study abroad participant, perhaps the most simple, but one of the most important ways, to promote intercultural learning is to get involved. As a member of my host community, I was able to open my ears and mind to every opportunity available to me to participate in my community: through everyday traditions and once-a-year celebrations, school activities, volunteer opportunities, and religious and extracurricular activities. I said yes to all of the new opportunities that presented themselves to me, whether it was trying a new, unidentifiable food or running a 5K. I let my passion
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