University of Iowa Political Science major Eli Bratsch-Prince, a native of Ames, Iowa, has been awarded a 2018 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). Bratsch-Prince will head to Amman, Jordan, this summer and will study at the Jordan Language Academy for an intensive Arabic language program and says he is excited about the impact it will have on his future career.
"I intend to go to graduate school to study the politics of the Middle East and North Africa, so having a solid understanding of Arabic will be important for that," says Bratsch-Prince. "Ultimately, I am interested in a career in the Foreign Service, and having superb foreign language abilities is crucial in that field."
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. The CLS 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.
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, Bratsch-Prince offers this advice:"I would encourage anyone to apply for a Critical Language Scholarship who is really dedicated to studying the language. You need to start writing and brainstorming a couple of months in advance and really hone in on a distinct, unique narrative to intrigue the selection committee. It takes a lot of intrinsic motivation and you need to really want the opportunity. Go in to [International Programs] talk to Karen Wachsmuth if you have any interest in applying!"
Additional information about the CLS Program is available here https://international.uiowa.edu/funding/students/awards/critical-language.