Bolles student Aman Shaik ’22 has been awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Virtual Summer Intensive scholarship to study Arabic language for six weeks. NSLI-Y is a program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) that promotes critical language learning among American youth. The 2021 Virtual Summer Intensive program is as an online alternative for NSLI-Y immersion programs that could not take place overseas due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Shaik is one of 500 students selected from 2500 applications nationwide. The NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive program provides robust language and cultural learning opportunities by virtually connecting the participants with overseas teachers, international peers, cultural organizations and communities where the target language is spoken.
Shaik began studying Arabic independently during his freshman year at Bolles with guidance from world languages teacher Sara Phillips-Bourass. He continued taking Arabic during his sophomore and junior years through Bolles’ Global Online Academy course offerings. Shaik is also the president and founder of the Bolles Arabic club, an academic, cultural and service‐oriented group dedicated to promoting Arabic culture through campus and in the greater community.
Shaik is currently receiving intensive language instructions through an Arabic-speaking instructor in Morocco virtually. Given his passion for STEM, he has been paired with an Engineering student in Morocco to communicate in Arabic on mutual interest topics and cultural immersion.
“NSLI-Y has offered me an experience of a lifetime,” Shaik said. “In just three weeks, I have significantly improved my Arabic speaking skills. I am grateful for the opportunity and hope to visit Morocco someday in the near future.”