Welcome to my new exchange blog!
Hi everyone! My name is Kendra and i'm here to tell you all about my upcoming adventure in RUSSIA!!!! Some of you out there might know me from my exchange blog that i wrote 2 years ago when I went to italy! if so, welcome back, and I hope you enjoy my new blog as much as I enjoy writing it!
So a little about myself! Well I'm Kendra and i'm an 18 year old senior in high school and I'm getting ready to graduate, but unlike a normal high school graduate i'm not planning on going on to college this year. I will be going to college, I'll be attending John Cabot University in Rome, Italy, but i'm postponing it for one year so that I can go to Russia on an AFS/NSLI exchange! This is my second high school exchange. WHen I was a junior in high school I went to Sardegna Italy with AFS. ( I had a blog for that year as well if you're interested click HERE) It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I cant wait to go on a second exchange!
Why Russia you ask? well when i was researching on a way to do a second exchange i came across NSLI-Y which stands for National Security Language Initiative for Youth. THis is a program that offers full scholarships to high school age students to go abroad for a summer, semester or year. They offer exchanges to countries that speak "national security languages" meaning languages that the American Government deems to be important and needed. Like: Chinese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, and Turkish. When I found this I jumped at the chance because this is a full scholarship and with out a full scholarship i would not have been able to afford a second exchange. when i looked at the list I was immediately drawn to Russian and Turkish so when I was filling out the application I put them as my #1 and #2. My number #3 option was chosen basically by my mother because I was to old for Chinese and she said no to Korean and Arabic so that left me with Hindi.
I turned my application in in early December and tried my hardest to put it at the back of my mind, meanwhile i continued to apply for university like a normal student because NSLI was not a sure thing. In late January i was notified that i was a Semi-Finalist and that I had to do an Interview. I wasn't really nervous for my interview because the ladies that interviewed me were the same ones that interviewed me for my trip to Italy and the same ladies that i have volunteered with since i returned from Italy. The interview went well and was told that i would need to wait until april for the final decision! When april rolled around I started to get nervous and waited very impatiently until Tuesday, April 27,2010! When i received this:
"Kendra, I am pleased to inform you that the NSLI for Youth selection committee has recommended you to receive a 2010/2011 NSLI for Youth scholarship. The reviewers believe that you have the ability to meet the challenges of a rigorous overseas language program and that you possess great potential for success."
When i read this email i felt like screaming at the top of my lungs! I couldn't believe it! It was really happening, i was going to be an exchange student AGAIN! I was happy, ecstatic, excited, scared, nervous and all i could think was "am i crazy for doing this again? i must be!!" but over all i was very excited and couldn't wait to go home and tell my parents that i got accepted to go to RUSSIA!
That pretty much brings us up to today and now i'm just waiting for more information from AFS/NSLI-Y on my host family, visa process, and orientations! I hope that you all enjoy reading about my adventures becuase I for one am more excited then I could possibly describe!