Quick Facts

Pinehurst, North Carolina

Country Visited

Favorite Food from Home

Favorite Food while Abroad
Red pepper filled with spicy rice and chicken 

Favorite Hobby while Abroad
Walking around and exploring the parks, markets, and sights in my host city Chisinau

Favorite Place Visited while Abroad

Stariy Orhei, a river valley with a monestary built in the surrounding sides of cliffs

Lauren Dailey '16 - Moldova

O’Neal Senior Lauren Dailey received a full merit scholarship to study abroad for six weeks in Chisinau Moldova. The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. NSLI-Y is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world.

Students across the United States between the ages 15-18 years old apply in the fall in a competitive application process, choosing their preference of language. If selected, they continue to a finalist interview round, and are notified if they are a finalist early spring depending on the program.

Lauren arrived in Moldova without any prior Russian experience, lived with a Moldovan host family, and took intensive Russian courses with 14 students from across the United States selected for the Russian scholarship. By the end of the program she had completed 120 hours of Russian courses with weekly assessments. Students are required to take the ACTFL (American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages) oral proficiency assessment at the end of the program, on which Lauren scored Intermediate Mid.

Lauren lived with a Moldovan host family who did not speak English, which gave her first hand immersion and exposure to Moldovan culture and the Russian language. Lauren enjoyed commuting to language classes on the city’s public transport Marshrutka mini-busses, playing with her six-year-old host sister and practicing her Russian with the family at meals.

With her group of American students Lauren attended cultural immersion experiences such as music, dance, and cooking lessons and visited beautiful monasteries throughout the Moldovan countryside. In her free time Lauren also explored the post-soviet capital city’s many parks, museums, markets, churches, and buildings.

Lauren’s experience in Moldova not only exposed her to the Russian language, but allowed her to gain a new perspective on a post soviet country rarely travelled to in Europe. Lauren values most highly the immersion into a culture and language completely foreign to her and relationships and connections she was able to make with new people such as her Russian professors, Moldovan activities directors, and host family.

Please click here to see the video of Lauren's presentation. 
Serving Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Whispering Pines, Sanford, West End, Aberdeen, and areas surrounding Moore County, NC.

The O’Neal School
3300 Airport Road
Southern Pines, NC 28387

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