Belmont University student Deya Maldas has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study the language of Bangla in Bangladesh this summer.
Maldas is one of approximately 610 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2013. CLS participants will spend seven to ten weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in one of 13 countries to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu.
The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. It provides fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
Consistent with the U.S. Department of State’s goals to increase diversity among international educational exchange program participants, the CLS Program actively recruits in states and regions of the United States that have been historically under-represented in international exchange and encourages students from diverse backgrounds and academic majors to apply. The CLS Program also promotes diversity in the independent review process, and includes readers and panelists from 44 states and 160 institutions, including land-grant public universities, liberal arts colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, Ivy League institutions, and community colleges. In 2013, 255 professionals, including critical language faculty, area studies specialists, international education professionals, and fellowship advisors, participated in the selection process for the CLS Program.