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Josh Mysore—St. Mark’s Senior and Plano Resident—to Study Hindi on U.S. Department of State NSLI-Y Scholarship

Josh Mysore—St. Mark’s Senior and Plano Resident—to Study Hindi on U.S. Department of State NSLI-Y Scholarship
July 16
13:20 2020

Josh Mysore, a rising senior at the St. Mark’s School of Texas, has been awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) Virtual Summer Intensive full scholarship to study the Hindi language for five weeks this 2020 summer. A Plano, Texas, resident, Mysore initially applied to the NSLI-Y program—a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) program that promotes critical language learning among American youth—during his year abroad in Zaragoza, Spain, with another program, School Year Abroad.

“While I was with my [host] family in Spain and immersing myself in the Spanish language, I slowly began to realize how drawn to language learning I was,” Mysore said. “As I delved into my love for Spanish, I realized that my desire to master language was not limited to just one language but rather an innate wish to communicate between cultures and educate myself about the world.”

Mysore would go on to pass the semifinalist stage and would ultimately be chosen as a finalist to study Hindi with NSLI-Y, a multi-agency U.S. Government initiative launched in 2006 to improve Americans’ ability to communicate in select critical languages, advance international dialogue and provide Americans with jobs skills for the global economy. Many NSLI-Y alumni go on to pursue education and careers vital to U.S. national security and credit the program experience with helping them improve their academic, leadership and cross-cultural communication skills.

“Many highly regard the NSLI-Y program for its prestige, education and experience,” Mysore said, “and I am no exception. I cannot wait to be a member of the fantastic alumni network.”

But although he was accepted to study in New Delhi, India, the program later shifted to a 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive version, an online alternative in response to the U.S. Department of State Global Level 4 Health Advisory and ECA’s pause of in-person exchange programs.

“When I first heard about the acceptance to the program I was overjoyed, so to hear about the shift to an online rendition was certainly jarring,” Mysore explained. “I was excited to visit my parents’ native country and gain new global perspective to bring back to America, but I am equally ready to take advantage of this fantastic virtual opportunity.”

Now, Mysore is just one of 500 students selected from approximately 3,000 applicants from across the United States who will study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Persian, Russian or Turkish this summer as part of a virtual exchange. This new NSLI-Y Virtual Summer Intensive program aims to provide robust language and cultural learning opportunities by virtually connecting the participants with teachers, international peers, cultural organizations and communities where the target language is spoken.

And luckily enough, Mysore already has experienced tackling linguistic challenges. In Spain, he conducted a Capstone investigation on immigration in the country, working with a cultural center as an instructor and food bank volunteer, interviewing refugee families from Venezuela and Algeria and composing a research paper covering an extended analysis of immigration in Spain compared with the United States—all in Spanish.

“The application process for this NSLI-Y program was rigorous and challenging, and I am expecting a equal if not greater challenge from these online courses,” Mysore said. “However, I am no stranger to taking on a foreign language in my free time and have been preparing by learning the [Hindi] script, basic vocabulary and grammar concepts from online resources.”

On top of participating in daily classes, completing daily homework assignments, engaging in cultural webinars on the weekends, and completing a Global Competence Certificate (GCC) course, Mysore and other students will also engage with peer tutors from target countries and even give presentation in the target language on cultural items at the course’s end.

“I look forward to seeing how far my Hindi has progressed by the end of the program,” Mysore said, “and I know that the people I meet and the skills I pick up will carry much farther than just the virtual world.”

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