Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate student Nitya Rayapati of Austin, Texas, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study in Lucknow, India, this summer for an intensive Urdu language program.
The CLS 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.
"Urdu has a long and rich literary and poetic tradition," says Rayapati, who sees her language studies as a window into the works of Urdu artists. "I hope to one day read and appreciate the works of Urdu-language writers."
CLS participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
"My hope is that studying Urdu and spending time in India will expand my understanding of regional Indian writing and inform my work as a translator."
"As a translator from Telugu, I'm especially interested in regional Indian literature," says Rayapati. "My hope is that studying Urdu and spending time in India will expand my understanding of regional Indian writing and inform my work as a translator."
For Iowa students who are interested in international funding opportunities, Rayapati highly recommends taking advantage of the services provided by International Programs and their experienced staff.
"Reach out to the grants and fellowship office early; everyone has a wealth of knowledge relating to these grants!"