Project GO is a U.S. Department of Defense initiative that offers full scholarships to qualified Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) students to study critical languages and study abroad. The program is an initiative of the Pentagon’s Defense Language and National Security Education Office and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
ROTC students from any school may apply to any Project GO program, domestic or overseas. All students accepted to the program receive full scholarships including round-trip travel to the program location, tuition, fees, housing and meal allowances, books, materials, insurance, activities, federal language proficiency testing and certification.
Since Project GO’s creation in 2007, the Hamilton Lugar School’s Language Workshop has received nearly $7.7 million to support 563 ROTC scholarship recipients in its summer intensive programs. Project GO participants at the Language Workshop can study Arabic, Chinese, and Russian in person at IU Bloomington, or can study intermediate and advanced Chinese in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. In each of these intense programs, students commit to speaking only the language of study for eight weeks—learning, playing, and living the language, while making extraordinary gains in their language skills.
The Language Workshop predates Project GO. Initially founded in 1950, it is now one of the largest and oldest summer language training programs in the country. In the summer of 2023, the 72nd annual Language Workshop offered 23 languages to 324 participants. Among those, 32 were Project GO participants studying on campus or in Taiwan.
Project GO participants choosing the Language Workshop benefit from Indiana University’s unparalleled language and cultural resources. The university is a national hub for language learning, teaching the most languages and offering the most national Language Flagship Programs in the U.S. It is also home to ten Title VI centers which foster international education and are essential to the development of American expertise in critical languages and cultures. These include National Resource Centers, National Language Resource Centers, and Area Studies Centers, all funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Project Go courses at the Language Workshop follow the model of the IU Flagship Programs with accelerated classroom instruction, daily one-on-one training, and a rich program of co-curricular activities. Students in the Workshop’s Project GO Summer in Taiwan also benefit from IU’s collaboration with the Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan’s only dedicated language university.
IU International Studies major Kelsey Morse served as the 2023 resident director of the Taiwan program. He says, “Kaohsiung City is an ideal place to learn Chinese. It has all the benefits of being a city of 2.8 million people, but it’s less of a tourist destination than Taipei so locals are much less likely to talk to us in English.”
IU Criminal Justice major and Army ROTC cadet Makenna Fuller completed the program in 2023. She says, “Participating in IU’s Project GO in Taiwan program was a dream come true. This past summer I got the opportunity to travel all over Taiwan, make lifelong friendships, and drastically improve my Chinese proficiency. I plan on using my language skills to advocate for marginalized communities and make genuine connections with people of different backgrounds.”
Whether they choose a domestic or overseas program, the Language Workshop’s Associate Director for Defense and Strategic Initiatives Nate Lanaghan says, “The benefits of Project GO are not limited to the financial. In the course of acquiring a new language, participants also learn to function in a new culture.” He continues, “In the arena of great power competition, the military requires cross-culturally competent officers to lead in strengthening international partnerships. It’s why Project GO Indiana’s motto is ‘Leadership through Language.'”
IU Language Workshop Director Kathleen Evans agrees. “Project GO contributes to IU’s mission to share its expertise with the state of Indiana and with the nation. Be it with the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Education, or the State of Indiana, the university’s participation in national programs like Project GO ensures that Indiana plays a leading role in preparing the leaders of tomorrow at the community, the state, and the national level.”
ROTC students interested in learning or improving Arabic, Chinese, or Russian are encouraged to apply now for summer 2024 programs at Indiana University. For more information, visit the Language Workshop Project GO website or contact Language Workshop Associate Director for Defense and Strategic Initiatives Nate Lanaghan.