Lincoln Academy senior Abbie Healy has been selected to receive a summer fellowship with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) in China. Through this fellowship she will study for six weeks in China, living with a host family and studying Mandarin Chinese. All of her overseas expenses will be paid by NSLI-Y.
Abbie has been studying Mandarin at Lincoln Academy for two years. She decided to try to learn the difficult language because, she says, “a lot of people in the world speak it. I figure that knowing a prevalent language like [Mandarin] will help my career and also help me communicate with people.”
The fellowship from NSLI-Y requires that Abbie spend three weeks studying intensive Mandarin in Bangor through the Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine at the Bangor Chinese School before departing for her six week in China. Once in China, Abbie and other fellowship recipients from around the country will live with families in the city of Harbin, the capital of the Heilongjiang Province in northeast China.
“I am really excited about the trip, and nervous, too. It’s kind of scary to to go to a place where you don’t know the language and culture. It will be drastically different from Maine!”
Abbie grew up in Nobleboro, and attended Nobleboro Central School before Lincoln Academy. She has traveled away from home on several trips with the Habitat for Humanity Club at Lincoln, and also for camp, but this will be the farthest distance and longest time she will have ever been away from home. “It’s probably good to get used to being away from home before I head off for college.”
Abbie will return just a few days before heading to college in late August. She has been accepted at Amherst College in Massachusetts, where she hopes to double major in Political Science and East Asian Languages.
Will she see any of her fellow Lincoln Academy students when she is in China? “Probably not,” says Abbie. “I think most of the Chinese students who go to Lincoln are from areas in the South.”