By: Matt Kelly | University Communications
Five University of Virginia scholars will spend the summer immersed in foreign cultures and languages, thanks to the Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State.
They are among approximately 550 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received scholarships from the program. They will spend seven to 10 weeks this summer in intensive language institutes in one of 13 countries, studying languages the U.S. government has deemed “critical”: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish or Urdu.
UVA’s participants are:
The Critical Language Scholars program provides group-based, intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. Participants, who are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers, hail from 49 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and represent more than 200 institutions of higher education from across the United States.
“I think it is great that these five students will be furthering their understanding of Arabic, Indonesian, Persian, Swahili and Urdu,” said Andrus G. Ashoo, associate director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence. “With as many students studying critical languages as we have, I think many more at the University of Virginia should pursue this fully funded opportunity to further their language learning. There are not many opportunities to develop such linguistic competency in such a short amount of time.”