National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program has been named January’s American Abroad Student of the Month. Melita, originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, is spending the academic year studying Chinese language and culture in Changzhou, China.
Melita quickly integrated into her host community by reaching out to her Chinese classmates. She became fascinated by the differences in U.S. and Chinese education systems, and how such differences impact each culture. Having made rapid language learning progress, Melita participated in two interviews conducted in Mandarin, appearing in a local Changzhou newspaper article and in a 12-minute interview broadcast on local TV. During the interviews, Melita discussed her interest in China and Chinese culture, her motivation to study Chinese, and her high school and host family experiences.