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National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y)

Highlights from the Summer 2017 Shanghai Program

Week 5

On July 24, the NSLI-Y students visited a nursing home and completed their second community service activity. The 2016 students also visited this place, so the residents were really excited to meet another group of U.S. high school students. The NSLI-Y students sang, danced, and talked with the residents. The students were impressed about the life experiences of these residents. The residents did calligraphy and generously gave their calligraphy work to the students.

Students completed their 5th (and final) street interview on Wednesday at Tianzifang, an arts and craft enclave that has developed from renovated traditional Shanghai Shikumen style building in the French concession area of Shanghai. They met with all kinds of people: the locals, people working in Shanghai, and those traveling in Shanghai. The interview topic was about their impression of Shanghai. Students have been collecting various kinds of information of the city, which they can comfortably get around now. Therefore, on Friday, all of the students presented their “Scrapbook Shanghai” project to their class. This is a three-minute “show and tell” activity in Chinese, during which time the students presented their Scrapbook Shanghai to their classmates. The scrapbook includes photos that are provided on their activity book, photos taken by students themselves, tickets, drawings by hand, and other souvenirs.

On July 28, NSLI-Y students visited Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and listened to a lecture of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) 101 by a professor in English. After the lecture, they visited a newly renovated TCM museum, and saw the development of TCM over the course of more than 3,000 years. This is also the third part of the TCM-themed culture learning, and it is very encouraging to see that a few students chose a TCM-related topic for their final project presentation next week.

The weekend was spent with visit to a water town in Shanghai (called Zhujiajiao) and a visit to Suzhou, a city north of Shanghai. Suzhou and Hangzhou are well known tourist and scenic places, and there is a saying “Heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth.” The NSLI-Y students visited Hangzhou during their first weekend and now they have completed their visit to the two heavenly beautiful places in China. The visit to Suzhou included Humble Administrators’ Garden, a UNESCO world heritage site; Suzhou Museum, designed by world renowned architect I.M. Pei (who is also the designer of the Glass Pyramid of Louvre in Paris); and Hanshan Temple, a Buddhist temple that is more than 1,500 years old.

Looking ahead, the students are busy preparing for their final week assessments, and they will complete their end-of-program HSK exam and final project presentation in the 6th week.


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