Parker School junior Maia Tarnas has been awarded one of approximately 625 National Security Language Initiative for Youth scholarships for 2013-2014. The NSLI-Y program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. NSLI-Y offers overseas study opportunities in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, and Turkish.
Tarnas will study Arabic in Jordan for the summer through the NSLI-Y scholarship. The scholarship covers all program costs for participants including domestic and international travel, tuition and related academic preparation, language testing, educational and cultural activities focused on language learning, orientations, meals, and accommodations, usually with a host family. Tarnas and 19 other program participants will be studying at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan. For the first three weeks of the program, Tarnas will live with a host family and for the last four in an apartment with one or two other students.
Launched as part of a U.S. government initiative in 2006, NSLI-Y seeks to increase Americans’ capacity to engage with native speakers of critical languages through formal instruction and informal language practice through immersion. Educational and cultural activities are designed to promote language learning and build mutual understanding and long-lasting relationships.
Through her participation in the program, Tarnas will serve as a citizen diplomat while developing the skills necessary to be a leader in the global community. Tarnas, whose mother grew up in Lebanon, is looking forward to expanding upon the Arab influence she has already had.