This summer a Renaissance High School student will be one of many students across the nation who will study overseas through a U.S. Department of State program.

Ethan Reynolds, 16, will study Mandarin in China for the summer through a National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarship. NSLI-Y is a program in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

More than 3,300 students from across the nation applied. Reynolds is one of roughly 660 students who will study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian or Turkish overseas this coming year through the program, according to a release from theU.S. Department of State. While in China, Reynolds will receive formal language instruction, live with a host family and experience the local culture.

NSLI-Y is part of a multi-agency initiative, launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to communicate in critical languages, to advance international dialogue and increase American economic global competitiveness, the release said. Many NSLI-Y alumni go on to pursue education and careers vital to national security, and credit the program experience with helping them improve their academic, leadership and cross-cultural communication skills.

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Reynolds wants to be a foreign ambassador or work as a Chinese liasion within companies who have a large presence in China and the U.S. Last summer, Reynolds traveled to China for two weeks with the University of Idaho.

“It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to this study abroad program because I will get to spend a lot more time in the country and really immerse myself in the culture and the language,” Reynolds said in an email. “To have this opportunity through the NSIL-Y program is a dream come true.”

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.

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