Josh Mysore, an Indian American senior at the St. Mark’s School in Plano, Texas, was recently awarded a National Security Language Initiative for Youth Virtual Summer Intensive full scholarship to study the Hindi language for five weeks this summer.
Mysore initially applied to the NSLI-Y program — a U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs 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 in a press release.
Mysore ultimately received the scholarship 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 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.
Now, Mysore is just one of 500 students selected from approximately 3000 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.
“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."