University of Iowa

UI student Abby Rinaldi awarded Critical Language Scholarship to China

March 27th, 2019

Abby Rinaldi, a native of Tampa, Florida, and a graduate student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa, has been awarded a 2019 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS).  Rinaldi will head to Dalian, China, this summer to study Mandarin at the Dalian University of Technology and says she is excited about the impact it will have on her future career. 

"I plan on pursuing a career in journalism, data analytics, or publishing, and I want to participate in these fields at the international level. By continuing to learn Mandarin and making new connections in the mainland, I can help to foster that goal. This experience will help me to expand my global network and also increase my language skills to a professional level so that I can use it in my professional life."

"In today's global society, where China and the U.S. both stand as two powerful and prominent nations, having an understanding of English and Chinese but also American and Chinese cultures is important in bridging the gap and starting a useful dialogue between the two nations and their people."

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.  

Although the CLS program is often targeted at undergraduates, Rinaldi wants to remind UI graduate students to not be discouraged from applying. "If you are a graduate student, don't be afraid to apply! You do have a shot at getting in, and the experience will still be relevant to you. Also, try to start the application early if you possibly can, as it's a bit longer than you might expect."

Rinaldi, who has studied Mandarin inside and outside the U.S. for about three years, says that Mandarin has always been an important language for her because it allows her to appreciate a culture and philosophy that is different from the one in which she grew up in. "Mandarin is a useful language for business and other endeavors, but what drew me to the language was its cultural properties," said Rinaldi. "In today's global society, where China and the U.S. both stand as two powerful and prominent nations, having an understanding of English and Chinese but also American and Chinese cultures is important in bridging the gap and starting a useful dialogue between the two nations and their people."

 

Explore the many funding opportunities open to UI students and alumni

Students are encouraged to begin their funding searches and applications at least six months to one year in advance.  Schedule an advising appointment with Associate Director of International Fellowships Karen Wachsmuth to discuss your interest in an international fellowship or begin an application (as a UI undergraduate student, graduate student, or alumna/us).

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