So, since it’s going to be a pretty long time before anything REALLY interesting happens, I guess I should let you know a little more about the program that’s sending me to China. The program that I applied for is called the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), which is funded by the State Department.  They have summer and year-long programs for Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajik), Russian, and Turkish. Because it would be ridiculous for the State Department to manage all this themselves, they employ multiple implementing programs that send the students to their respective countries. The implementing program that accepted me is called American Councils, and they’re sending me with a group of other high school students to China for the summer.

The program I got accepted for is a six-week intensive language-study program that includes a full scholarship (airfare and all). I’ll be staying with a host family the whole time and will take culture classes and go on field trips. I’m really excited to see what city they send me to and meet the other people in my group!