UIC Graduate Student Selected for Critical Language Scholarship
U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs News Release
Kendal McGinnis, an MA student in creative writing from University of Illinois at Chicago will participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program to study critical languages 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. McGinnis is studying Russian this summer.
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.
The CLS Program partners with universities and nonprofits around the globe to provide cohorts of U.S. students an opportunity to study the language and culture in a country/location where the target language is commonly spoken. The CLS Program, through its CLS Spark initiative, also provides beginner-level virtual instruction for Arabic, Chinese, and Russian for competitively selected U.S. undergraduate students whose home campuses do not offer these languages. CLS scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers.
CLS scholars represent a broad diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Recipients of the 2023 CLS awards come from all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico and include students from over 200 institutions of higher education, including public and private universities, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, military academies, and minority-serving institutions.
For 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, please contact ECA-Press@state.gov and visit our websites at http://www.clscholarship.org/ and https://studyabroad.state.gov/. Graduate students who are interested in applying should contact Benn Williams, the Graduate College's Fellowships & Awards Coordinator and CLS advisor.