A guest post I wrote about volunteering for the National Youth Leadership Initiative for Youth program was just published on NSLI-Y Interactive.
In writing it, I was again reminded of how lucky I have been to have had that experience in Morocco, and how my NSLI-Y journey continues to this day. I have been able to be a part of several alumni events promoting study abroad, NSLI-Y, and cross-cultural communication since returning. Through that, I have met some incredible people that inspire me to continue my own language learning and remind me that this truly is a small world.
In the past month alone, I met a summer Turkey alumni rocking a NSLI-Y water bottle at my neighborhood coffee shop, and ran into a fellow international exchange alumni from an AFS PDO two years previously.
The NSLI-Y Interactive post was sparked by another PDO in June, where I was given the opportunity to serve for the second time as a program alumni for the same trip I went on in 2013.
I wrote about the first PDO, and this year’s group of students was just as inquisitive and full of excitement for the trip they were departing on. I enjoyed teaching them what I could, but got an incredible amount out of learning alongside them. I had forgotten so much and the implementing organization, iEARN, and Resident Director, Kelly, both brought out the excitement of language learning and pre-trip departure that I had missed.
This was the second PDO I had volunteered with NSLI-Y for, but in a way it was also the second Morocco PDO for me personally. This fall I will be returning to Rabat, Morocco for a full semester as part of an American University study abroad program.
I am excited to get back to the country that I have been talking about nonstop since I left, and to do so with a little more experience behind me. My NSLI-Y trip was what determined my direction towards Middle East and North African study at university, and I look forward to using what I learned in-country. Having also already been introduced to the city, I hope to jump right into making the most of my time there.
By the end of the month I’ll have landed and been settled with a host family. I have an idea of what to expect, but am looking forward to the adventure of what is still to be discovered. Hello again, Rabat!