KINGSTON, R.I. – May 11, 2021 – For the second year in a row, University of Rhode Island sophomore Jack Eustis ‘23, of East Greenwich, has been selected to receive a Project Global Officer Scholarship (Project GO). An initiative of the Defense Language and National Security Education Office in the United States Department of Defense, Project GO is designed to equip future military officers with valuable language and intercultural skills through intensive study abroad programs.
Eustis, who is majoring in International Studies and Arabic, is a URI Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet and hopes to pursue a career as a U.S. Army officer, ideally serving as an adviser to foreign units in the Middle East.
Unfortunately, due to travel concerns associated with COVID-19, this is the second year the program will be virtual. Had travel been sanctioned, Eustis would be furthering his studies this summer at the Noor Majan Arabic Institute in Muscat, Oman. Instead, he will be learning from the Institute’s faculty via Project GO’s program with Marquette University.
While being unable to travel was a disappointment, Eustis, who worked through a virtual program last summer with Project GO, is looking forward to this year’s experience. “I kind of loved it last year. It’s like having a job. You take four hours of class, take a short break and then have three hours of study hall,” he said. “I thought my Arabic was pretty good, and then to be able to study with these people really improved my proficiency level – and it was really helpful in keeping me on track during the summer.”
The experience also expands his ability to converse in Modern Standard Arabic as well as Levantine Arabic, which is taught at URI – both of which he sees as integral to his chosen career path.
“You need to be able to communicate with officers and members of the government, whether you are working via email or with official documents, as well as with people on the street. That’s how you build trust and foster a positive relationship between people and countries,” said Eustis, who may eventually like to work as an attaché to an embassy advising on local military and government.
With two years of Arabic already under his belt, Eustis is well on his way and is hoping to intern at the Naval War College his junior year. In addition to being awarded a Project GO Scholarship, Eustis was selected an alternate for the prestigious Boren Award, also through the National Security Education Program, and is considering reapplying next year.
Project GO begins in early June and runs through the end of July. URI ROTC students interested in applying for the Project Go Scholarship program should contact the URI Office of National Fellowships and Academic Opportunities for guidance and institutional endorsement.