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Maplewood Student Awarded US State Department Scholarship to Study Mandarin Chinese

From the American Councils for International Education and the U.S. Department of State:

Sophia Tierney, a Columbia High School student in Maplewood, New Jersey, was awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Virtual Summer Intensive scholarship to study Chinese (Mandarin) language for five weeks. NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) that promotes critical language learning among American youth. The 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive program was created as an online alternative to the NSLI-Y overseas immersion program in response to the U.S. Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory and ECA’s pause of in-person exchange programs.

Sophia, competitively selected from approximately 3,000 applicants from across the United States, is one of approximately 500 students who will study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian, or Turkish this summer as part of the virtual exchange. The NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive program aims to provide robust language and cultural learning opportunities by virtually connecting the participants with teachers, international peers, cultural organizations, and communities where the target language is spoken.

NSLI-Y is part of a multi-agency U.S. Government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to communicate in select critical languages, advance international dialogue, and provide Americans with jobs skills for the global economy. Many NSLI-Y alumni go on to pursue education and careers vital to U.S. national security and credit the program experience with helping them improve their academic, leadership, and cross-cultural communication skills.

NSLI-Y is administered by American Councils for International Education in cooperation with AFS-USA, American Cultural Exchange Service, AMIDEAST, iEARN-USA, the Russian American Foundation, Stony Brook University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Wisconsin.

Applications for 2021-22 NSLI-Y programs are expected to be available at www.nsliforyouth.org in the late summer. The U.S. Department of State conducts study abroad programs for over 1,000 American high school students and approximately 3,000 foreign high school students each year. Click here for details.

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