Wednesday, April 3, 2024
student smiling

University of Iowa global health studies major Isabel Rushton of Iowa City, Iowa, has been awarded a 2024 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study in Malang, Indonesia, this summer for an intensive Indonesian language program. 

The CLS scholarship is a U.S. Department of State program and is 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. 

“I already knew about the CLS and that I wanted to apply prior to studying at Iowa,” said Rushton. “However, the assistance and advice I got from the International Programs office made me feel much more confident when I submitted my application.” 

When Rushton was in high school, she got the opportunity to go to Indonesia for a summer through a State Department scholarship called National Security Language Initiative for Youth, an experience she credits with igniting her interest in the country and her passion for global health. 

“I got to witness firsthand different cultural beliefs surrounding illness and medicine,” said Rushton. “As Indonesia is extremely diverse, studying Indonesian opens up a ton of possibilities for me to do future work and research throughout the archipelago on these topics.” 

CLS participants are encouraged to apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. 

“The CLS is pretty intensive, so I anticipate making a lot of progress with my Indonesian skills, which is going to be invaluable for my goal of working in the region and studying health practices there,” stated Rushton. “I’m also excited to make connections with my cohort and with the many Indonesians I’ll be meeting, and to get more comfortable with navigating daily life in Indonesia.” 

For other Iowa students curious about CLS, Rushton says, “Go for it, even if you feel like you're not the most competitive applicant out there. Take advantage of the resources available at Iowa to make your application the best it can be. And if you’re like me, and you get rejected the first time you apply, revise your essays and try again!” 



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.