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National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

Highlights from the Summer 2017 Shanghai Program

Week 2

The 25 students continued their learning both in and outside the classrooms. During their first weekend, students visited Hangzhou, a city south of Shanghai in Zhejiang province. There is an old Chinese saying, “Heaven above, Hangzhou and Suzhou on earth,” to describe the natural beauty of this ancient capital of China. The NSLI-Y students visited West Lake on Saturday, and on Sunday, went to a famous tea village to experience the production of tea. Students picked some fresh tea leaves and learned to process the drying of tea leaves by hand before they visited a Buddhist temple in the afternoon.

The Chinese classes in the second week contained various topics of home community, hobbies, and future goals. The students learned to describe their home state to each other, and to the Shanghai people. On July 4, students engaged in a lively discussion with their Chinese instructors and tutors about how Chinese and American people celebrate the most important national holiday of each other. Another highlight of the second week’s Chinese learning included the learning of a popular Chinese song, “Manual of Youth,” by a Chinese band TF Boys. All students sang this song with Chinese people during their street interviews.

As far as the cultural classes are concerned, the local partner organization arranged three different activities. After visiting an international folk art museum last week, the students went to the World Expo museum in Shanghai to learn about modern expo history. Additionally, they visited the China Hall of the 2010 World Expo (hosted in Shanghai), which is now converted to a museum of modern Chinese art.

The NSLI-Y students had their second of the three-part Traditional Chinese Medicine sequence in an herbal medicine garden located in the suburbs of Shanghai. At this urban garden, students saw different specimens of traditional medicine and also learned to weigh the herbal medicine down to 1/5 of a gram. Students will visit a university featuring Traditional Chinese medicine in week 4.

Please also enjoy some pictures of NSLI-Y students experiencing artistic dough roses with a Chinese artist. They are very proud of their products! Finally, students have moved into their Chinese host family on Sunday and will spend the next two weeks with their Chinese parents and siblings.

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