University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Global Programs and Strategy Alliance > Confucius Institute

Unit's home page.

Home > Resources for Learners > National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) > Highlights

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

Highlights from the Summer 2016 Shanghai Program

Week 3

On Saturday, July 9, NSLI-Y students visited the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower, the symbol of Shanghai. The group also enjoyed a cruise on the Huangpu River with a spectacular night view of the architecture of the Bund in both Puxi (west of Huangpu River) and Pudong (east of Huangpu River).

On Sunday, July 1, NSLI-Y Students in Shanghai moved to their respective host families where they will stay for the next two weeks.

During week 3, NSLI-Y students came from all over the city to the program site for their morning Chinese language classes and afternoon cultural activities. It was an interesting adventure for students to experience local transportation of Shanghai via subway and/or bus. Students spent evenings and the weekend with their host families and have participated in all kinds of fun activities with the family: some did sports such as swimming and ice skating, some visited museums in Shanghai and other famous spots, and some ventured to the newly opened Disneyland in Shanghai. One highlight of this week’s host family stay was that NSLI-Y students learned to make a Chinese dish with their host families and, in return, taught their host families how to make an American dish. The students furthered the theme of cuisine through their third week street interview: the experience of a Chinese foodie.

As far as the cultural activities are concerned, students had Chinese folk dances and Chinese painting during the week, both of which deepened their understanding of the richness and diversity of Chinese culture. The experiential nature of the cultural classes also enabled students to try out the dances and painting for themselves.

week 3 painting -1

week 3 painting - 2

week 3 chinese dance

Another highlight of this week’s program was the Sino-U.S. Youth Forum, which took place on July 13, 2016. This year’s theme was building a bridge between China and the U.S., and the 40 students in attendance (25 NSLI-Y students and 15 Chinese high school students) built actual model bridges using spaghettis noodles. (An interesting note: meet and noodle sound the same in Chinese, so this spaghetti noodle bridge is a good homonym for the activity). The 40 students were randomly divided into eight groups of five, and each built a bridge with a bilingual name. Students presented their bridges’ design in Chinese and a load test was formed on all of the eight bridges. A best creativity award and a best structure award were presented to the bridge that got the most votes by a group of student judges, and the one that endured the most weight. It was a fun afternoon with lots of laughter.

Sino-US Youth Forum - 1

Sino-US Youth Forum - 2

Finally, students continued their studies with another weekly quiz , in both oral and written format. Next week, they will begin work on their final projects.

American Councils logo    Department of State logo

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