(May 18, 2010) New College of Florida graduating senior Sarah Brown has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Chinese in Nanjing, China, this summer. She is one of only 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students selected from a pool of 5,300 applicants to be selected to spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes in 15 countries.
Brown, who is from Lake Helen, Florida, concentrated her New College studies in political science and international and area studies.
“It’s an amazing opportunity and to know that I was selected over so many other people reaffirms all of the decisions I’ve made up to this point,” Brown says. “It really opened my eyes to the opportunities out there.”
Brown visited Beijing last summer for an intensive language program, which she paid for out of pocket. She looks forward to experiencing Nanjing, which is two hours outside of Shanghai and in one of the country’s business districts.
“I’m really excited to be in a totally different part of the country and have the opportunity to experience a totally different aspect of Chinese culture,” Brown comments.
The Department of State launched the CLS program for intensive summer institutes in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas. The chosen students are among 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 (ECA).
“CLS is going to open up a lot of doors for me,” adds Brown. “Just having a vote of confidence from the State Department in an area that is so important in international relations and business will be a very positive point on my resume. If I did decide to go into government work with the embassies or consulates, having such a prestigious connection with the State Department would help me stand out.”
After Brown completes the program, she plans to work in China, possibly as an English teacher, to improve her Chinese while researching graduate programs in international relations and business. She is also in the process of applying for a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship for a year of graduate study in China.
For further information about the CLS program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit: clscholarship.org or exchanges.state.gov.
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