University of Iowa international studies and economics student Ryann Hubbart of Clinton, Iowa, has been awarded a 2023 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Arabic this summer in Nizwa, Oman.
This is the second year in a row that Hubbart has been awarded this prestigious scholarship. In 2022, Hubbart spent the summer in Amman, Jordan, for an intensive Arabic language program, where, like many students who study abroad, she learned a great deal about herself.
“The most important takeaway was that I’m capable of so much more than I give myself credit for,” said Hubbart. “I gained so much confidence overall and especially in my language abilities, my social skills, and my ability to navigate new places and situations on my own.”
“Learning a language at Iowa has been one of the most fulfilling and transformative things I’ve done.”
The CLS scholarship is a U.S. Department of State program intended to help broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages while building relationships between people of the U.S. and other countries.
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.
“Learning a language at Iowa has been one of the most fulfilling and transformative things I’ve done,” said Hubbart. “Eventually, I want to go to graduate school to continue to develop, use my Arabic skills, and keep learning about decolonial movements and leaders and their connections around the world.”
Choosing to study abroad can feel daunting to some students, but Hubbart encourages her fellow classmates to step outside of their comfort zone.
“You don’t have to be an incredibly outgoing, adventurous person to study abroad and have an amazing, transformative time,” said Hubbart. “I thought that going abroad and doing adventurous things was something that only brave, extroverted people did. ‘Brave’ and ‘extroverted’ have never been words I would use to describe myself! All you really need is a willingness to push yourself and a desire to connect with other people.”
Learn more about the critical language scholarship
International Programs (IP) at the University of Iowa (UI) is committed to enriching the global experience of UI students, faculty, staff, and the general public by leading efforts to promote internationally oriented teaching, research, creative work, and community engagement. IP provides support for international students and scholars, administers scholarships and assistance for students who study, intern, or do research abroad, and provides funding opportunities and grant-writing assistance for faculty engaged in international research. IP shares their stories through various media, and by hosting multiple public engagement activities each year.