UM Students Earn Scholarships for Hindi Language Immersion in India

March 20, 2018

UM students Margaret Grayson and Brandon Fulbrook from Montana’s only Hindi language program just won scholarships to study Hindi in India.MISSOULA – Two students from Montana’s only Hindi language program have just won scholarships to study Hindi in India.

Brandon Fulbrook, who has studied Hindi since UM started teaching the language in 2015, received an $8,000 American Institute of India Studies scholarship to spend the 2018-19 academic year in Jaipur in Rajasthan, India. Margaret Grayson, who is completing her first year of Hindi, won a fully paid Critical Language Study scholarship to take an intensive, two-month Hindi course in Jaipur this summer.

“This is a major success for our little program,” said Ruth Vanita, director of UM’s South and Southeast Asian Studies program.

Fulbrook, a sophomore majoring in political science, said Hindi is listed as a critical language skill by the U.S. Department of State with good reason.

“Hindi language skills in particular are useful for diplomacy and engaging with news media and other outlets which may inform public policy and U.S. foreign policy with India as an important ally,” he said.

Beyond building his career opportunities, Fulbrook looks forward to immersing himself in India’s culture.

“India itself has a fascinating history, beautiful culture and deep wisdom to share with the world,” he said. “These are reflected in its languages as well, and studying Hindi will be a key to open many doors in the understanding and exploration of India.”

UM’s South and Southeast Asian Studies program has made Hindi language teaching possible by successfully applying for three successive years to bring Fulbright instructors from India to teach Hindi at UM at no cost. The first two Hindi teachers, Gaurav Misra in 2015-16 and Surbhi Jain in 2016-17, were hosted for free by supporters of the program, Ginny Therriault and Jeety Kang, respectively. This year, UM Interim Provost Beverly Edmond donated housing for Hindi instructor Srijeet Mukherjee.

This fall, the program hopes to again offer Elementary Hindi, which fulfills the General Education Language requirement. Several scholarships are available to students interested in studying Hindi further in India.

For more information call Vanita at 406-241-5793 or email ruth.vanita@umontana.edu.

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Contact: Ruth Vanita, director, UM South and Southeast Asian Studies program, 406-243-5793, ruth.vanita@umontana.edu.