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National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

Highlights from the Summer 2016 Shanghai Program

Week 1

The 25 NSLI-Y Shanghai program students arrived on June 26 at the Jing’an Education Exchange Center and started their six-week program officially on Monday June 27.

The first week’s activities are a combination of language instructions, peer tutoring and cultural activities. This week’s activities feature traditional Chinese art, and students experienced fashion art through a visit to a locally famous traditional Chinese dress store: Long Feng (meaning dragon and phoenix) Qipao store, architectural art through an afternoon excursion to the 450-year-old Yuyuan Garden in the city center of Shanghai, and embroidery art through an experiential class of Suzhou style embroidery. The students were all impressed by the exquisiteness of the beautiful gardens and the dress. The students were excited to try out the embroidery art themselves and created their own embroidery work. Aside from the art themed activities, the NSLI-Y students also attended a session during which time they practiced Tai Chi with a master.

On Friday July 1, NSLI-Y Shanghai program students visited the Shanghai American Center, where they attended a security and cultural briefing hosted by the US Consulate in Shanghai. In addition to addressing security tips, Public Affairs Officer Joshua Lustig also shared his experience of being a US diplomatic and career tips for entering the field of Foreign Service.

Finally, NSLI-Y is an intensive language program and students have begun formal instructions on Tuesday. The 25 students were divided into three classes based on their language proficiency: little sea star, little dolphin and little whale. Language classes are usually in the morning from 8.30am to 12.30pm. Each week, students will complete a task of street interview, which is designed to enable students to apply what they learned in class in real life communication with local people. With the help of teaching assistants, students conducted their first interview in groups of 2-3, and wrote their individual interview reports, which will be shared in class.

NSLI-Y at Shanghai American Center

Students attending security and cultural briefing at Shanghai American Center


NSLI-Y embroidery

Students showcasing Suzhou style embroidery


NSLI-Y Tai Chi

Students practicing Tai Chi with a Tai Chi masterĀ 


NSLI-Y Chinese Class

Students in Chinese class


NSLI-Y street interview

Students conducting street interview with local people in Shanghai


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The NSLI-Y program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.