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Eight U. of I. students win federal scholarships for language study abroad

6/20/2011 | David Schug, co-director, National and International Scholarships Program | 217-244-0254;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A total of $100,000 in federal scholarship funds has been offered to eight University of Illinois students to support their study abroad as part of a wider U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical languages.

Christopher Bulaon, a senior in agricultural and consumer economics, will be going to Brazil; Joseph Kaczmarek, a senior in computer science, will be going to Jordan; Lara Sanoica, a junior in Spanish, will be going to Chile. They were named recipients of National Security Education Program Boren Scholarships to support year-long study abroad experiences in 2011-12.

Five other U. of I. students earned U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships to study critical languages this summer: Whitney Carr, a graduate student in library and information science, will study Arabic in Morocco; Dana Fager, a senior in international studies, will study Japanese in Japan; David Greenstein, a graduate student in history, will study Russian in Russia; Victoria Jacobs, a graduate student in library and information science, will study Turkish in Turkey; Nellie Manis a graduate student in Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, will study Russian in Russia.

Boren Scholarships are provided nationally for high achieving undergraduates to study non-traditional languages in less traditional geographic areas of the world.

Recipients pledge to attempt to find employment with the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, or the intelligence community within three years of graduating from their degree programs. They also receive support in seeking such employment.

The three Illinois recipients were among 151 awardees from a national pool of 940 applications.
Critical Language Scholarships may be used to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu. Illinois recipients are among about 575 U.S. students (selected from a pool of more than 5,200 applicants) who will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in 14 nations where these languages are spoken. The program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences.

Many Illinois students receive assistance in applying for these and other nationally competitive awards through the campus’s National and International Scholarships Program.

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