HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. -- Miles Lewis is more than curious about the world around him and wants to communicate with as many people as he can, so the Hastings High School senior will spend part of this summer studying Turkish in Turkey.
Lewis, who graduates in two weeks, will go abroad on a U.S. Department of State NSLI-Y Scholarship that was awarded last week.
“I became interested in studying Turkish after visiting Azerbaijan last summer, a country that speaks a language quite similar to Turkish, and developing somewhat of a sense of the culture,” Lewis said. “I hope to come back with a better understanding of life in Turkey, some sense of the Turkish language, and some new friends.”
The NSLI-Y program is funded by the U.S. Department of State and provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to learn less commonly-taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. The State Department offers approximately 625 students per year the chance to study Arabic, Chines, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian or Turkish.
A language arts lover, Lewis has considered pursuing studies in International relations when he heads to college, but said he is not exactly sure.
“Hastings High School has very strong language classes; and, after my positive experience taking two different languages, French and Latin, I felt inspired to pursue yet another," the aspiring linguist said.
The goals of the NSLI-Y program include sparking a life-long interest in foreign languages and cultures, and developing young Americans with the skills necessary to advance international dialogue.
"I am going to be leaving New York for Washington on June 22," Lew is said. "I will be flying from Washington to Istanbul on June 23. As of now, I am trying to find some gifts for my host family, but aside from that, i am planning to pack fairly lightly."