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The Madison Record

Bhooshanan to study in Jordan

Meenu Bhooshanan, far right, stands with her family. CONTRIBUTED
Meenu Bhooshanan, far right, stands with her family. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – This summer, Meenu Bhooshanan, a prospective junior at Bob Jones High School, will study the Arabic language in Jordan.

Bhooshanan was awarded a competitive scholarship from the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) for 2016-17. She will receive formal instruction and informal language practice during the six-week immersive program.

The initiative chose approximately 600 students from across the United States in competitive qualifying to study Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian or Russian overseas.

“Language is the building block of any relationship,” Bhooshanan said.

The study’s immersive nature intrigued her. “Numerous apps and websites can help teach a new language,” she said. “With social media, one can easily read on someone else’s experience in another country. However, the most effective way to learn a language and culture is to immerse oneself in it.”

“This scholarship enables me to fully experience and utilize the Arabic language and Jordanian culture,” she said.

Arabic “enunciation and stresses on words are very unique and beautiful. Art of Arabic calligraphy is filled with pulchritude and complexity that is very enchanting,” Bhooshanan said. “Arabic is a widely spoken language, encompassing much of the world.”

At Bob Jones, Bhooshanan achieved quarter-finalist, Spain Park Debate Tournament; highest GPA, swim team; top talent, National Piano Guild; and ‘A’ Honor Roll. As a junior, she will be Interfaith Club and Young Advocates for Equality president and National English Honors Society vice president.

In addition, as a sophomore she participated in Model UN and honor societies for Latin, music and English. She has volunteered with Madison Animal Rescue Foundation, Madison Public Library, Morningside of Madison and Sci-Quest.

Bhooshanan’s pastimes are reading, swimming, cooking and playing piano and flute. “I’m currently undecided on my major. Perhaps my experience in Jordan will lead me towards a career in international studies or international relations,” she said.

Originally, Bhooshanan was scheduled to study in Turkey, but the Department of State canceled that program due to the tenuous situation in the country. Bhooshanan selected an alternative language, and the initiative notified her about her new destination.

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