Seven students from Indiana University (IU) Bloomington participated in the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program during the summer of 2023. They are among approximately 500 competitively selected American students at U.S. colleges and universities who received a CLS award in 2023.
The award, funded by the U.S. Department of State, offers students the opportunity to spend eight to ten weeks studying one of 14 languages deemed critical to U.S. national interests. Between 2006 and 2022, IU Bloomington students received 126 Critical Language Scholarships – more than any other Big Ten school.
Hamilton Lugar Student Sachin Talagery, an undergraduate in International Studies and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, was part of the summer 2023 CLS cohort at the Jordan Language Academy (JLA) in western Amman.
Talagery says, “Studying abroad on the scholarship has been a blessing. Because the cost of the program is covered by the State Department, I can stay focused on my language and cultural immersion goals.
During the eight-week program, Talagery felt fortunate to be living with a host family. He says, “This allowed me to apply my skills in a practical context and presented me with an accessible space to ask questions about day-to-day life in Jordan.”
Much like the IU Arabic Flagship Program’s weekly tutoring, Talagery says, “We spoke with language partners every week at JLA, and they all speak Arabic a bit differently.”
He says that felt well prepared for the linguistic diversity he encountered while in Jordan, “Because IU has given me the opportunity to hear a variety of ways that Arabic is spoken, I was better able to synthesize and comprehend native speakers and their individual pronunciations and vocabulary.”
Other 2023 CLS recipients from IU include: Amika Ghosh, J.D. ‘23 (Hindi); Elliot Gross, B.A. ‘23 East Asian Languages and Cultures (Arabic); Sasha Matsuki, B.A. ‘23 History, Political Science (Japanese); Stuart McLaughlin, doctoral student, Central Eurasian Studies (Japanese); Yanira Rhymer-Stuart, M.A. ‘23, East Asian Languages & Cultures, East Asian Studies (Korean); Lillian Rogers, Senior International Studies, Slavic Languages and Cultures and East Asian Languages and Cultures (Korean).
The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to increase the number of Americans studying critical foreign languages. CLS scholars gain language and cultural skills that enable them to contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. The CLS Program provides opportunities to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to spend eight to ten weeks studying one of 14 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. The program includes intensive language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences to promote rapid language gains.
Further information about the CLS Program or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs can be found at http://www.clscholarship.org/.