US Department of State: Scholarship for High School Study Abroad

8AE-2014-10-USDeptOfState-logoThe National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) offers merit-based scholarships for American high school students (ages 15-18) to study one of seven critical foreign languages including Chinese (Mandarin) and Korean in summer or academic year immersion programs overseas.

The NSLI-Y program is designed to immerse participants in the cultural life of the host country, provide formal and informal language practice, and spark a lifetime interest in foreign languages and cultures.

There are no language pre-requisites and beginners are welcome. Gap years students are also welcome as long as they meet age eligibility requirements.

The application deadline for summer 2015 and academic year 2015-2016 programs is October 30, 2014. Find out more.

Bullying and Teen Suicide in South Korea

8A-2013-03-21-Time-SouthKoreaRattledBySuicideFrom Time: “A 15-year-old high schooler, only identified by his surname Choi, jumped out of his apartment home in the southeastern city of Gyeongsan last Monday after being bullied for roughly two years. His death — the second youth suicide in South Korea this month — has shocked the nation and called into question the government’s efforts to stop school violence.” South Korea is known for its high suicide rates especially among young people. It is about time the government intentionally pursues obvious causes like bullying, and hopefully initiates some real change not only in the educational sphere but in wider society concerning family relationships and dealing with judgment and pressure.

Korean High Schooler Tae-hyok Nam is Dodger Blue

I like to think that I bleed Dodger Blue. I love baseball and I LOVE the Los Angeles Dodgers. While I may not be an expert, I know my around a game enough to surprise the boys who think girls do not know anything about baseball. I’m a very passionate fan and I’ve annoyed many a fans who have been unfortunate enough to sit in front of me at games. And I’m proud to say that I’ve even woken up a baby with my cheers while I was baby-sitting (it was unintentional).

Thanks to Ernie, I found out before my boss (who loves the Dodgers more than I do) that the Dodgers signed their first Korean high-schooler (Tae-hyok Nam) to a minor-league deal. Though Nam won’t be seen playing at the beauty that is the Dodger Stadium for a few years, it’s exciting that my team has been able to sign a promising player at a young age. I hope Nam matures into a great player so that he can do the Blue proud!

While we’re on the topic of MLB, let’s discuss something: Asians seem to dominate — read, do well — in baseball. Our office has been having discussions about this for as long as I’ve been working here. What is it in Asian men that help them shine in this sport? Theories from muscle memory to intelligence were thrown around; in any case, I’m glad to see Asian guys shining in professional sports in USA. Hey, whatever it takes to dispel the stereotype that Asians aren’t athletic.

(Flickr photo credit: Nitro101)