Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Alexis Finer

Alexis Finer 

University of Iowa Human Physiology & Psychology major Alexis Finer has been awarded a 2017 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). Finer will head to Indonesia this summer for an intensive language and cultural immersion program and says she is excited about the impact it will have on her future career. 

"I'm really interested in learning more about lifestyle and public health in Indonesia. As an aspiring physician, it means a lot to be able to see health practices outside of the United States. The opportunity to study in Indonesia will give me a valuable perspective and deeper appreciation of other cultures." 

The scholarship is a program of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and is intended to help broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages while building relationships between people of the United States and other countries. The Critical Language Scholarship Program provides fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment activities for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students.  

The State Department considers the following foreign languages critical: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu.

Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. 

For UI students interested in applying for a CLS, Finer offers this advice: "I think students are most successful when they can put a lot of time and effort into creating a strong application. Find a reason why that experience would be important to you personally, and how you have developed into someone that is ready for that opportunity."

Additional information about the CLS Program is available.

Next CLS Application Deadline: Mid-November, 2017.