As many of you already know, I will be spending the 2014 summer in Kirov, Russia studying language. I received a fully paid for scholarship from NSLI-Y (national security language initiative for youth) to intensively study language as well as culture. NSLI-Y is a program sponsored and funded by the state department which sends students to various countries where the languages spoken are considered “critical” to learn in today’s world. The application process was pretty lengthy and it included various essays, a teacher recommendation, and an interview. My application was submitted in October, I found out I was a semifinalist in December, and then finally found out I was selected as a finalist in late February. I decided to create this blog to document my experiences throughout this journey, also to inform family and friends of the various adventures I’m sure to have. My departure date is June 17th and I take the red eye to NYC. I then have a two day orientation in NYC and then we leave for Russia on the 20th! The trip is quickly approaching and I am looking forward to it. For the next two weeks or so I will be trying to learn as much common russian vocab as possible, learn about the culture, and start packing ALL while studying for finals and finishing up work for my junior year. It will be a busy next two weeks but I will be rewarded with an experience of a lifetime!