Xavier Student Receives U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

May 11, 2010

Ashley Bonnell of Xavier University has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Arabic in Tunisia during the summer of 2010. Ashley is from Columbus, IN and is the daughter of Ethel and Richard Bonnell. She is a senior in Xavier’s Philosophy, Politics & The Public honors program, majoring in history with a minor in gender and diversity studies.

She is among the 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students awarded by the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2010 to study Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Persian, and Russian and Indic (Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) and Turkic (Turkish and Azerbaijani) languages. These students will spend seven to ten weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in fifteen countries where these languages are spoken. Recipients will also support their language acquisition through cultural immersion activities. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

The 2010 CLS Program received nearly 5,300 applications. Representing all 50 states, students from a range of academic disciplines and U.S. colleges and universities were selected for scholarships in 2010 through a merit-based selection process.

The Department of State launched the Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas. The program is part of a wider U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages.

CLS Program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS Program is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and the American Councils for International Education (ACTR).

For further information about the CLS Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit our websites at http://www.clscholarship.org and http://exchanges.state.gov.