Outside Class (야외수업), Travel Maker Brunch in Hongdae, and Korean Monthly Exam (04/30/19) NSLI-Y Korea AY

04/30/19 Tuesday

Since Katie and I stayed up really late the previous night studying, we were both practically dead in the morning. We even went to the convenience store to buy coffee before school started because I knew that there was no way I would be able to sit awake during my classes today without some assistance from caffeine.

Morning selfie before we have to be in our homerooms

During first period, I had my English conversation class with three 2nd year students and instead of having any conversation on intellectual topics, we rather planned what we would be do in two weeks time when meeting up in 홍대 to hang out! The girls were going to be able to get permission to leave school to hang with me for a couple hours, so we spent our hour in the library picking where to eat and deciding what we could do to fill up the time. 수빈 recommended this really good (and cheap) chicken place that she had been to in 부산 (it was a chain) so were going to eat there and then most likely go to 노래방 (karaoke) and make perfume or macaroons or something crafty–we wanted to do something hands on! It was a lot of fun planning out our day!

My 한국사 (Korean History) teacher switched things up for today’s class and allowed us to have class outside which we call 야외수업! We left the classroom and walked down this really nice, scenic path past the 한옥 (Korean traditional house) museum and neighborhood almost towards the nearby Buddhist temple.

On our way there, we passed by these birds fighting on the sidewalk and one of the birds became injured and was struggling to flap its wings while it was down on the ground. A lot of the girls were scared of it although it was harmless so they kept shrieking every time it gained enough momentum to get a little bit off the ground. It was really sad to see it in so much pain, struggling to survive and get back up. One of the students called someone (maybe some type of Animal control?) so when we did walk back to the school, that bird was gone.

The teacher talked to us a little bit about the history of the area before letting us go free and visit either the Twosome Place Cafe or the convenience store. (He turned a blind eye away from those students who were buying ramen to stockpile reserves in the dorm.) During the entire duration of our outdoor class, I hung out and chatted with my friend 정민. She actually is close friends with my other third year friends (세림, 지은, and 지연) but this was the first class I was able to have with her.

She was so sweet with me that she even bought me a drink from the cafe–an iced chocolate (basically just the cold version of the hot chocolate). We talked all about our school lives and a bit about our past. Apparently, 정민 spent some time in America when she was young because her aunt lives in the US. That was interesting to hear about.

After Katie and I finished our second exchange student conversation class of the day before lunch time, we immediately booked it off of school grounds to try to get to 홍대 as fast as we possibly could. All the other NSLI-Y students had no school today so they planned to all go out for a traditional American brunch at a famous place in 홍대 called Travel Maker.

Katie and I were able to make it to the restaurant just around the time that everyone else was receiving their food. We were able to just sneak into the booths they were already at and order some pancakes. Luckily, even though we did have school, we were able to make in enough time to eat with everyone for a little while. After we finished eating, we wanted to take a group photo so I (with some random confidence) ran up to a complete stranger walking in the park across the street and asked them to take a photo for us. I was glad that we were able to put this little brunch date together!

Blueberry Pancakes ❤ My favorite food = pancakes

Afterward, we all had to go and take our monthly tests for April… what a downer to a great first half of the day. I walked to the Better World Office with Josh and Jacquelyn and we passed by his cafe that day and there was a really cute sign out front. It made me smile.

Translation: Difficult days also pass by. Waiting for a happy tomorrow.

Our test this month was extremely difficult. We expected it, though. Our teacher warned us about it. The passages in this test seemed a lot more complicated than the ones in past tests and they were so much longer too! I barely had enough time to read through all of the reading passages and answer all the questions. I had to pick my best guess for a couple questions. I was also super tired from staying up late studying (and the coffee in the morning already wore off), so I started nodding off during the test too which is never good! After we all finished the reading test, we made a stop at the closest convenience store during break time to pick up some pick-me-ups including coffee and gummy geckos.

Usually my blog posts about the unit/monthly tests tend to be a bit more negative because more often than not I feel mildly incompetent after taking each and every test. Luckily, because I am writing this so much later, I do not have those negative thoughts floating around in my head. Looking back at this test and my OPI, I feel like I did pretty well. Comparing it to my march speaking test which involved me crying while on the phone with my teacher, this one went a lot smoother. She actually asked me to describe the movie plot of one of my favorite movies so I went on and described the basic plot of Hello Ghost which involves suicide and ghosts and although the subject matter was heavy, I was able to explain it all better than I originally assumed I would be able to. (Actually, I feel like that answer was probably one of the biggest reasons for why I was able to move up a level that month.) The writing test for this month was writing about our individual projects and I felt prepared to discuss my topic, but I still struggled with vocabulary. Even though I had to substitute some desired words for ones that I did know, I felt that I explained everything I wanted to discuss in my paper quite well.

After the monthly test, Josh and I walked to 와플대학 to meet some of the other NSLI-Y students (Alix, Hunter, Katie, etc) for our after-test-tradition of waffles. I had dinner plans with a friend after the test so I ended up not ordering my own and just stealing some bites from Katie. We talked about our tests and ranted for a bit before I left for 신촌.

In 신촌 we went to a meat restaurant and had barbecue for dinner while chatting about a lot of different topics. I learned that the tape and arrows on the roads and alleyways pointing to certain restaurants were a part of events that the university students hold. Apparently like a fundraiser type thing? Or they are ways to try to raise membership for clubs and such. When we first got to the restaurant, we watched some female students putting the yellow tape on the road and as it got darker, we noticed people directing others to follow the tape to the final destination. 

Yonsei at Night

After eating we walked around the 연세 campus which was honestly the first time I really was able to walk around a large majority of the campus. Previously, I had only walked up the large drive (lawn maybe is a better term?) with Addie and Jessica on two separate occasions. My friend was not a student there or anything but we still walked around the different buildings anyways.

We ended the night just chilling at a cafe to talk. Cafe Pascucci was the name of the cafe and it was my first time there! We just got our drinks and relaxed on one of the sofa seats on the second floor and talked until I had to go because of curfew. It was a nice way to unwind after the stressful days leading up to the test day.

That is all for this blog post! I hope you enjoyed! Thanks for reading~

  • Emma 엠마

Global Youth Service Day: Making Korean Masks at Youth Center & Eating REAL Pie (04/27-04/28/19) NSLI-Y Korea AY

04/27/19 Saturday 

Today was Global Youth Service Day! And if you don’t know what that is, it is an international day recognizing youths’ contribution to their communities. It calls upon the youth of the world to also complete community service on the day in honor of what it stands for. Because of this, Better World organized us to do an extra community service event at the youth center in 마포구 which I did service at throughout the duration of our winter break. 

Today we prepared presentations for the children on Korean traditional mask dance (since we did see one in 안동, we are basically experts—just joking…) Each Korean class had a more specific topic under the branch if mask dance to focus on and present about. My class focused on the history although in my part, I talked about the present usage/application of mask dances (tourism mostly) and then ended off the presentation with a cheesy “If you get the chance to see a mask dance, don’t miss the opportunity and make sure to grab it.” Everyone loved it, though!

After our presentation, we all got matched up with one Korean student (well except me and Addie but we ended up stealing other people’s kids instead) and we made Korean masks! We were given a plain white shell/mold of one of two types traditional masks (One was the bride and the other was the nobleman I believe? Or maybe the fool?) Then to decorate them, we had this textured puffy/slime colored clay? I really don’t know how to describe it! It was like using textured foam and clay at the same time! We used that to cover our masks and decorate them. 

Making the masks was actually fun and kind of calming, stress-relieving even. It was also really nice getting to talk to the kids about a lot of things from their trials making homemade slime to BTS—a room favorite it seemed. We also ate lunch with the kids. Better World and the youth center bought us all burgers from McDonald’s.

This was my first time ever having a shrimp burger!! I remember opening the wrapping and expecting to see a beef patty (as I did not read the label when grabbing my food) and was extremely shook to see a pretty much pink/beige patty. It was good though. I will admit.

We ended off the event by all cleaning up together, taking a group photo, and dancing? We played this one girl group song which has a pretty provocative dance and these two little boys danced along with it so well! I haven’t seen the original but I would bet tons of money that it is definitely not as entertaining as the version we saw today. 

Afterward, I didn’t want to go home right away, so Kaitlyn and I made plans to visit a cafe together and get some work done (Korean studies or our individual research projects). It was kind of a last minute decision to go so I just hopped on Mango plate and looked for a cafe that seemed pretty and I found this one that seemed to serve real, authentic looking pie! Most places in Korea that claim to sell pie really just sell fruit tarts. (This was first learned when searching for pie to eat on pie day last month…)

The name of the cafe was 오늘의 위로

But these looked like the real deal. Real slices of American-style pie! I pulled it up on Kakao maps and somehow, with my mediocre navigational skills in tow, we were able to find the cafe! It was actually extremely small with only about 4 tables to sit at so we decided not to stay that long as courtesy to the other guests that would want to eat here. We left after a short line formed outside. Kaitlyn ordered a strawberry cake while I went for a slice of warm apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream–which was extra but worth it. It was honestly so delicious! Tasted like Thanksgiving! I was in love! (And in addition to the amazing taste, everything looked so aesthetically pleasing!)

We were pretty productive in between the random spurts of us just having fun conversation. We left the cafe before dinner time, both returning to our respective homes for the night. Originally I wanted to go out but since I had already done the most this midterms week (basically going out and having fun every single day for the whole week), I needed some rest. 

Lazy Dinner = Ramen

4/28/19 Sunday

Today was a very chill Sunday. I did nothing. I stayed at home all day and worked on my Korean homework and created the outline for my individual project (which was due at 11:59 pm that night).

앤디야~ 왤케 귀여워??

I’m also writing this blog post more than two weeks after this day happened so a lot has left my memory unfortunately… additionally, the lack of pictures does not help but I am assuming it wasn’t too eventful. 

Sometime in the afternoon, my host mom bought croquettes from the little shop within the train station that sells them for like 1,000 to 2,000 won or less. I had never really eaten a croquette before (or the particular ones at that shop although I pass it every time I use the subway and usually always consider buying something but talk myself out of it every time). For those who don’t know what a croquette is, it is basically a fried pastry (kinda like a fritter type thing?) filled with something.

The ones my host mom bought were filled with vegetables, sweet potato, cream cheese, and red bean. (There was one with corn salad but y’all know I did NOT touch that beast…) My favorite ones from the bunch were the 찹쌀도넛 which were these circular donuts (honestly like munchkins) that were filled with red bean and had mochi-like texture. They differ from traditional donut holes;however, because they are made with rice flour rather than being yeast donuts. It was chewy and soft at the same time!! My host mom and I just ate them and talked for a bit before I returned to my room to attempt to be more productive. (I do believe I finished a movie on Netflix this day as well…) 

I was doing homework and then got so confused by this passage. We are currently learning about recent innovations and high-tech products and this particular line brings up a fridge with a screen that allows for its users to check where certain things are inside. I was like what? Are we really becoming this dependent on technology? We can just OPEN the door!

Well that is all for this blog post~~ I hope you enjoyed reading! I’m really behind on these posts but life has gotten so hectic here since it is the end of my time in Korea (10 days left exactly!) so I’m trying to make the most of everything and that does not mean spending hours on my computer writing and editing blog posts…only downside is I forget a lot when I don’t write them soon after… *sigh* Thanks for reading! 

  • Emma 엠마 

2018 NSLI-Y Alumni Representative Workshop Pt. 2 (Jan 6th, 2018)

안녕하세요 여러분!

On our full day of the Alumni Rep Workshop (01/06/18), we would be having a majority of the presentations American Councils planned for us as well as learning about our planning expectations and requirements. (A lot of things would be repeated from last year, but I needed to hear more about in-person planning as I did not really pay attention to that aspect last year–because it wasn’t my role.)

We had breakfast at the hotel starting from 7:30 am until 8:30 am. I got up an hour earlier to take a shower and get dressed and my roommate Selin and I headed down for breakfast at 7:45 am. During breakfast, I sat with Jacquelyn, Shraddha, and Selin and was able to hear more about their experiences with NSLI-Y and their daily life in wherever they lived in America. The breakfast was really delicious! I usually never eat breakfast (and if I do it is a granola bar), so the spread for breakfast seemed so glamorous and luxurious! There were chefs who would make you a personal omelette with whatever you wanted!

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My roommate Selin and Shraddha at breakfast

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I took advantage of this breakfast by getting a lot of things: waffles, southern style potatoes, bacon, eggs, fruit, and a chocolate muffin

After breakfast, we walked to American Councils (except for Dean who took a couple people with him in an Uber because of his injury. If only AC knew that he crutched all the way to the Lincoln memorial the previous night… haha). When we first made it back to the American Councils Office,  we did some icebreakers to learn more about each other. We all made two circles (an inner and an outer) to talk about some highlights of our NSLI-Y experience, goals for the alumni rep role, etc.

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Walking to American Councils Saturday morning~

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Nicole ❤

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Ready for a long day of presentations!~

Then, like last year, we had presentations on our virtual presence on social media, in-person event planning, planning logistics, different types of events, and we were introduced to some resources we can access from the US Government.

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Like last year, American Councils gave out prizes to the reps that could answer some NSLI-Y/Alumni Association “trivia” questions. Shraddha and I both picked out some pretty cool merchandise. Can’t wait to use my thermos!!!

One difference between this year and last year was that American Councils had some of the alumni representatives (renewed and new) give presentations on the different types of events. First, we skyped past NSLI-Y Alum rep for Philadelphia (Mid-Atlantic Region) Andy Nguyen! Ahhhh it was so great to see him again. Before the video was set up completely, Nicole and I chatted with him for a bit telling him how much we miss him. He did a presentation on all of his events (which were EXTREMELY successful) and his tips for planning events and getting a good turn-out.

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Andy about to present to us

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haha PC: Nicole’s Snapchat // I do not remember what I was looking out but this is hilarious!

Then some of the other alumni reps presented about their experience with one of the types of events (+ tips and advice). For example, I had a presentation on my experience having a virtual Serve event. (I hosted a webinar with Youth Service America for Global Youth Service Day in April.) Jeremy (Virtual Engagement) presented about virtual events, Rahul (Virtual Engagement) presented about Outreach events, Jacquelyn (Midwest- Louisville, KY) presented about Learn events, etc.

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Deni presenting about his Grow (in-person in Boston) alum events from last year.

After what seemed like an endless amount of hours spent on presentations and note-taking, we had lunch!

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My lunch consisted of a roast beef sandwich, salsa sun chips, and a brownie cookie.

After lunch, we got into small groups to plan out some events for the year. (As an alum rep, we are required to organize and host at least three events: two in-person or virtual events and one outreach event.) Since I will be attending university in NYC next fall, I will have to host all my events before I move. Josh was in the same situation as me, so we focused on planning all our desired events during the late winter, spring, and summer months. I am really excited to meet and hang out more with the NSLI-Y Chicago alumni!~

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My small group for the event-planning activity!! I worked with Paula (Northeast — NYC), Josh (Southwest — Dallas), and Rowan (West Coast — LA).

Also, before today’s segment of the workshop, we were told to take a survey to asses our leadership style. After adding up all my points, I had more or less a leadership style known as East–Vision. We got into groups based on our leadership style (I was placed with Rowan, Lila, and Justin), and wrote out a poster on tips we would give others to work with us.

Main Points of the East-Vision Leadership

  • Visionary who sees the big picture
  • Likes to experiment and explore
  • Looks for overarching themes and ideas
  • Generative and creative thinker; able to think outside the box
  • very idea-oriented; focuses on future thought

Then, we were getting ready to end the workshop activities for the day. Brian gave a debriefing and told us all the housekeeping rules for the night. We got reimbursed for transportation to get to the airport (to and back) from yesterday, and we also took some time to take photos in front of the iconic American Councils wall (It was in the room we stayed in last year!)

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They decorated for Christmas!~ So adorable!!! 🙂

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Front: Paula, Me, Jacquelyn, and Shraddha              Back: Jeremy, Dean, and Nicole

With Old Friends!~

With New Friends!~

American Councils would be taking us out to dinner at Bangkok Joe’s in Georgetown. We would also be given time to walk around Georgetown and experience Georgetown Glow (An outdoor light exhibit). We all walked back to the hotel, got changed and dressed for dinner (For me, this meant putting on more layers. It was so cold!). We took taxis to the same restaurant we ate at last year.

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I ordered General Tso’s Stir-fried Lomein with Fried Shrimp

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Alumni Representative Dinner! (Left to Right: Josh, Justin, Jacquelyn, Dean, Selin, Deni, and Caroline)

After dinner, we split off with Brian to find the Georgetown Glow exhibits and just hang out in Georgetown. (Many of us, including me, wanted to stop by Georgetown Cupcake and then sit down and chill in a fun cafe.) The light exhibits were not close at all. The first one was right in front of the restaurant and Washington Harbor, but the other ones were scattered all around.

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When I first saw it, I thought they just wrapped some pretty, glow-in-the-dark ribbon around the trees. XD

The second light exhibit consisted of light up floor “tiles” on the ground. When you step on them, they change from their normally blue color to either a purplish-pink color or a reddish-yellow color. It was a lot of fun to run around on them!

The third one was more of a trek away– and up a hill! And though it was very very cold, I got to talk to Nicole, Shraddha, and Jeremy more. I talked to Nicole about her first semester at Harvard, Shraddha’s experience helping out at a refugee center, and Jeremy and I bonded over our NSLI-Y Korea summer experiences.

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This gave me Olympics and Sonic the Hedgehog Vibes. Anyone else? No? ….

After walking for awhile, we made it to Georgetown Cupcake! I, and a couple other reps in the group, stopped by to buy cupcakes. The line was so long! I was surprised… but I still waited in line! XD I ended up getting a Happy New Year cupcake (chocolate) and a gluten-free peanut butter cupcake (chocolate).

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❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

We then walked over to the cafe right across the street to hang out, eat our cupcakes, and some of the reps ordered coffee or hot chocolate. We lost track of time, and I had to remind Brian what time it was. (We were late to the meeting spot but… it was worth it! haha)

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Cafe Aesthetic!~ ❤

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All the alumni reps took over the second floor! haha XD

We arrived back at the hotel, in taxis, around 8:30 pm. We messaged back and forth on our group chat to figure out whose room we should hang out in, but we decided to just all hang out in the lounge area on the first floor of the hotel (close to where we ate breakfast in the morning). A lot of the reps were doing homework or writing essays for some programs so there was a multitude of laptops out. (I had mine, but it took me about half an hour to get it connected to the internet. Thanks to Anjali for helping me figure it out!)

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The qualityyyyy (Jeremy, Deni, and I)

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I stayed up till 2 in the morning talking with the alumni reps! Till 1 am, Jeremy, Dean, and I talked about our NSLI-Y Korea Summer experiences. It was super interesting to hear about Dean’s experience because his was the most recent and he had gone to Jeonju (전주) instead of Seoul (서울). They took Korean classes at a high school instead of a university like Jeremy and I had. (Additionally, he was quite popular at his school. The girls were head over heels for him! XD)

Then From 1 to 2 am, Dean, Justin, Lila, and I just talked about who knows what. We moved from the tables to some couches and got into some deep stuff. (Except when Dean starts telling us what our animal selves would be– apparently I am a golden retriever and Lila is a turtle… weird haha) So a mix of deep stuff and stuff that you can only talk about when it is two in the morning.

And that was the second day of the Alumni Representative Workshop! Usually, (well at least last year) I combined the second and third day of the workshop together; however, this post is getting so extremely long! This post is already getting up to 1,700 words!!! I had a ton of fun getting to know the reps more and learning more about what I can do as the Chicago Representative this year. I am so excited!! Hopefully, I can post a (rather short) blog post about the third day sometime soon~ Hope you enjoyed! 고마워요 여러분! 다음에 봐요!~ 🙂 Do not forget to subscribe!!!~

  • Emma 엠마

NSLI-Y Outreach: NSHSS College/Career Fair at The University of Chicago

This weekend (09/09/17), I had the opportunity to conduct outreach for the NSLI-Y program at The University of Chicago. We needed one more alum other than me to come, so I went to the Great Lakes – Chicago NSLI-Y Alumni Facebook page and asked around for any volunteers. (Author’s note: Attention all NSLI-Y Alumni! Make sure to join your region’s (if applicable) Facebook page! Us alumni representatives will often post about opportunities there!) Michaela, an awesome China Summer 2015 alumna, joined me for the event.

For this event, Michaela and I were at a “college fair” for NSHSS (National Society of High School Scholars) members. We were at the U.S. Department of State’s table and our job was to talk about the fully funded cultural exchanges, hosting opportunities, and our experience with NSLI-Y. The rest of the tables were for universities (mostly in IL/the Midwest region), but there was also a table for the CIA. It was just us and the DIR (Diplomat in Residence) for the Midwest: Melissa Martinez.

I arrived at the right hall at UChicago about an hour early, so I walked around campus for awhile. The campus is so pretty! I could not resist taking photos of all the old buildings. Its architecture is my aesthetic.

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After my own little “tour” of the campus, I went to the room for the college fair and besides the UChicago reps that were present, I was still the first one there.

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The University of Chicago prepared goodie bags for all of us; they included water, a Toblerone, and some hand sanitizer.

Eventually, Melissa showed up, and we began to set up the table with a U.S. Department of State tablecloth, tons of brochures, pens, and post it notes. Looking around at all the other tables for the colleges, I realized that table setting is truly an art.

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good work shall I say

After setting up, Melissa left to go present to the NSHSS members. While she was gone, I met Michaela for the first time. For about an hour, we talked about a variety of things: our NSLI-Y experiences, other alumni opportunities we have done, learning languages, China Town, Gentrification, College, etc.

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Michaela ❤

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Me! Did I mention we got name tags? I am wearing mine with my NSLI-Y lanyard I received from my PDO!

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Michaela and I standing in front of our lovely table~ (We had to get a picture before the students came in. Once they did, we had no breaks for photos XD)

The fair lasted around 2 hours, and I talked more than I normally would at a speech competition! That is saying a lot!

During the two hours, Michaela and I spoke with students that were interested in studying abroad. We also talked to parents about how they can host international students (selling point: once they go off to college, there will be an extra room in the house XD)

It was honestly very heartwarming to meet so many students that had an interest not only in cultures and languages, but also careers in foreign policy/with the U.S. Department of State. I hope a good amount of students we talked to will apply this application season.

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A funny part of the fair was the fact that many parents thought I was working for the Department of State. They would ask me what I did, and I would then tell them that I was currently only a senior in high school, but that hopefully, I would be there in the future XD Honestly, I do not look old at all. In fact, I think I look younger than most people my age. It must have been my blazer. It must have made me look professional!

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Me with Melissa Martinez (Midwest DIR) and Michaela

And that was my take on the outreach event I did this September! It was quite a lot of fun, and I am glad I received the opportunity to do so. The NSLI-Y Alumni Association is such an amazing network of people and I am so thankful to be a part of it!

Thank you for reading~ If you enjoyed, please subscribe to my blog! 再見!

Alumni Representative Workshop Pt. 1 (Jan 6th, 2017)

Since I am now an alumni of the NSLI-Y program, I will be starting a series on my blog about the opportunities that are available to alumni of the NSLI-Y program. The first one I will be talking about is showcased in this blog post. (Duh!) The Alumni Association is a network of exchange alumni that encourage alumni to continue their language learning, serve the community, promote NSLI-Y, and the association helps alumni with professional development. Alumni Representative positions are given to exchange alumni which makes them responsible for engaging alumni in their respective regions. (Each representative is given a region of the country or they can be a virtual engagement Alumni Representative.) The application for Alumni Representatives is emailed to all alumni from all program years and languages around the middle to end of November. If you want to know more about the position and the Alumni Association, visit the Alumni Association tab on the NSLI-Y website which I will link here.

This year I was given an Alumni Representative position for virtual engagement which means instead of my role being to connect alumni from my region, I am in charge of connecting alumni nationwide with virtual events. (I am also a Korean summer 2016 NSLI-Y alum for those that have not done an extensive reading of my blog.) One of the obligations of an Alumni Representative is to attend a three day workshop in DC coordinated by American Councils in order to learn about the roles, responsibilities, and rules for the position. Therefore, this past weekend, I was sent to DC with 15 other Alumni Representatives for the workshop and I will document our happenings on this blog post. (Prepare yourself… for a very very long blog post.)

On Friday (Jan 6th, 2017) I took a flight with Nicole (Russian Summer 2016 Alum – Chicago/Great Lakes Alumni Representative) and Ryan (Chinese Fall Semester 2011 Allum – Midwest/St Louis Alumni Representative) to Washington D.C. for the workshop. Representatives would be arriving on Friday anywhere from 1pm to 5pm and so our workshop would not officially be starting until around 5:45pm but we all had to meet at the lobby of our hotel at 5:30. Since Ryan, Nicole, and I arrived so early (before 3pm), we decided to walk around the area and visit some monuments and such after dropping our luggage off in our rooms.


The room was so big and nice! We had a bathroom in our walk in closet and a kitchen. Very interesting.


Selfie in the hotel room! XD



View from the hotel balcony!~

We went to many monuments and walked for almost three hours straight. Nicole and I would never have been able to find all these cool places without our amazing tour guide Ryan. (It was also my first time in DC and so I had a huge smile on my face the entire time. It was sooo much fun walking around… even though the circular streets were quite annoying.)


We tried to visit the White House but there was a lot of extra protection so we couldn’t get that close.


We then went around to the back and I was able to have a better view of the White House.



Executive Building


I wanted to see the Lincoln Memorial more than anything else!~

Ryan left us early at the Lincoln Memorial because he still had to change into his dress clothes for the activities and presentations tonight. Nicole and I were prepared as we had worn our business casual clothes on the plane and were already dressed nice. We finished up at the Lincoln Memorial around 5pm and we had to hurry up and make it back to our hotel. If we had walked normally, we wouldn’t have made it so we speed walked and ran when crossing the streets. Luckily, we didn’t get stopped at too many streets because it seemed every time we got to a street, pedestrians were allowed to cross. We made it to the lobby at 5:26pm, 4 minutes before the meeting time. Go us! At this time, I met with most of the representatives which I hadn’t known or met before. (Well everyone except for Angela. (Chinese Summer 2015 alum – Southeast/Orlando Alumni Representative) We met on the NSLI-Y forum on College Confidential a few years back. It was really nice to meet her in person finally.)

We all walked to American Councils and the first thing on our agenda was introductions and icebreakers. We met with people from American Councils as well as the other fellow Alumni Representatives and did some speed networking. For dinner we had some middle eastern food before we had a presentation from two women from the Department of State on resources that are available by registering with the international exchange alumni and where to find them. (Resources including internship position listings, databases, etc.) Then we had a presentation on the roles and responsibilities of NSLI-Y Alumni Representatives.


Our Conference Room


Left to right, Top to bottom: Elise, Ryan, Andy, Jeremy, Deni, Ben, Me, Charlotte, Angela, Nicole, Alisa, Shanice, Mayesha, Jaime, and Elizabeth. (James had not made it to DC yet.)


Waiting in the lobby of the hotel for everyone to get inside.

We got back to the hotel around 9pm and a group of us (15/16) decided to go out and explore DC some more. A lot of the representatives wanted to visit some monuments. We were given a curfew of 11pm so as long as we were back in the hotel by then, we were golden. While we were walking to the Lincoln Memorial (for the second time in one day! haha), we passed by the Department of State and we had to take a group selfie.


Department of State


PC: Andy (Chinese Summer 2015 – Mid Atlantic/Philadelphia Alumni Representative)


What a good photo XD


Group Photo with Lincoln


PC: Angela

After walking around the area, we all stopped at this Burger and Shake Place called BTS near our hotel in order to grab some food. The place was known for shakes and since we had already eaten dinner, almost everyone ordered shakes and fries. I ordered their signature shake (BTS Shake) which was a vanilla shake with Butterfinger, Twix, and Snicker chunks. The shake tasted really good but the pieces of candy kept getting stuck in my teeth which was pretty annoying. We all hung out at the restaurant and talked some more in order to get to know each other. While eating, I talked mostly with Mayesha (Persian Summer 2016 Alum – Mid Atlantic/Washington D.C.) as she was across from me.


My shake and fries (The fries were so delicious as they were very hot and it was a nice change from the freezing cold outside.)


It was very dark


PC: Angela


Gotta love Angela and her camera!~ ❤ haha

When I got back to the hotel, I met my roommate which turned out to be Jaime (Chinese Summer 2016 Alum – West Coast/Seattle Alumni Representative) and I had already talked to her a lot since she sat next to me during the presentations. We stayed up till 12:30pm on our phones and just talking about our programs and experiences. We had not gone to the same country, but we were still able to bond over the NSLI-Y experience in general. And it was fun for us to learn more about the other programs. I also found out Jaime has a blog! So I will link that here if anyone is interested in reading a blog about Chinese summer.

And that was the first day of the Alumni Representative Workshop! I wanted to just make one entire post about it but this is already past 1,000 words and I think it would be easier for me (and you, the reader) if I split it up in two parts (or maybe three… depending on how much I end up writing… hehe) But thanks for reading about this opportunity I had because of my NSLI-Y program! I had never met so many alumni in one place and especially alumni from different language programs. I can’t wait to see what events they hold in their regions and I can not wait to attend all the Chicago events with Nicole!~ (It is useful living in a region with another representative~) Thanks for reading this blog post and I hope you enjoyed. Do not forget to follow my blog for more posts about Korea as well as more alumni opportunities and other travels~ 안녕 친구들~!

  • 엠마 (Emma)