Twelve UMD Students Awarded the Critical Language Scholarship
July 31, 2018
College Park, Maryland - Twelve University of Maryland students were awarded the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study abroad during summer 2018. Two of these awardees declined their CLS awards in favor of other opportunities. The complete list of 2018 UMD CLS awardees is below. Maryland was one of only eight universities nationwide to have 10 or more CLS participants this year.
The CLS Program is part of the U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. CLS scholars gain critical language and cultural skills that enable them to contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. The program awards approximately 550 scholarships every year.
CLS provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to spend eight to ten weeks overseas studying one of 14 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers.
Since 2006, CLS has awarded scholarships to more than 5,700 American students to learn critical languages around the world. CLS scholars are among the more than 50,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. These exchange programs build respect and positive relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS program is administered by American Councils for International Education.
2018 University of Maryland CLS Recipients
Kyle Kastler received his master’s degree in International Education Policy from the College of Education this May. He is currently studying Urdu in Lucknow, India.
Nisha Seebachan is a rising senior double majoring in Chinese and Communication in the College of Arts and Humanities. She is studying Chinese in Tainan, Taiwan.
Benjamin Sonnenberg graduated in May with a major in History from the College of Arts and Humanities and minors in Middle East Studies and Global Terrorism. He is an alumnus of the University Honors program. Mr. Sonnenberg is studying Azerbaijani in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Nicholas Viggiano is a rising junior in the College of Arts and Humanities, majoring in Russian Language and Literature and Environmental Science and Policy. He is a member of the University Honors program. Mr. Viggiano is studying Russian in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.