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Six U.Va. Students Win Scholarships to Study Languages Overseas

April 16, 2010 — Six University of Virginia students will go overseas this summer to study languages with Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State.

These students, listed below, will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes and in cultural immersion this summer in countries where these languages are spoken. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Vice Provost for International Programs Gowher Rizvi says he is thrilled to have U.Va. students participating in the State Department's program to increase the number of Americans studying languages in which very few U.S. citizens are skilled.

"I am pleased that the U. S. State Department recognizes the efforts we are making at U.Va. to increase the number of graduates with a firm grasp of a foreign language," he said. "Communicating with other nations is becoming ever more critical in our global community."

Rizvi said the University's goal is to ensure that every U.Va. graduate is fluent in at least one foreign language.

These scholarships, valued at approximately $15,000, cover all program costs, including travel to the program location, pre-departure orientation, visa fees, room, board, group-based intensive language instruction, program-sponsored travel within country, and entrance fees for program activities.

"I am delighted that so many U.Va. students have been selected for this wonderful program," said Lucy Russell, director of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence. "The opportunity to study these languages intensively in the countries where they are spoken is unmatched. This promises to be an extraordinary summer for each of the participants and one that will have a long-lasting impact."

In 2010, the U.S. Department of State has selected approximately 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Persian, and Russian and Indic (Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) and Turkic (Turkish and Azerbaijani) languages.

U.Va.'s scholarship recipients are:

• Jordan Matthews, 22, of Rumson, N.J., and Stratton Mountain, Vt., a fourth-year architecture major who will research architecture and urban centers in Turkey. She plans to perform architectural preservation and restoration work in New Orleans when she returns and then attend graduate school for architectural design.

• Alyssa Paredes, 20, of Manila, Philippines, a third-year socio-cultural anthropology major. Through this scholarship, she will study Japanese in Japan and research the anthropology of cultural and material exchange between Japan and the West.

• Dorothy Lineer, 19, of Fairfax, a second-year double major in French and commerce. She will use her scholarship to expand her knowledge of Korean while studying in South Korea.

• Julie Starr, 31, of Columbus, Ohio, a second-year graduate student in cultural anthropology, who will use her scholarship to hone her Chinese language skills while researching the understandings of race, ethnicity and self in China.

• Lauren Gloudeman, 21, of Culpeper, a fourth-year philosophy and Chinese language major, who will use the scholarship to further advance her Chinese language skills. She plans to pursue a degree in international law and practice in China.

• Meaghan Patrick, 22, of Winterport, Maine, a fourth-year student majoring in Russian and Eastern European studies, who plans to pursue graduate-level studies on Russia and possibly become a translator.

The Department of State's Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study languages overseas and is part of a wider U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages. Since the program started, 22 U.Va. students have received cholarships.

Program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS Program is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the American Councils for International Education.

Information about the CLS Program or the U.S. Department of
State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is available here and here.

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