UO student receives U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

EUGENE, Ore. – (May 3, 2013) – University of Oregon sophomore Benjamen DoVale has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study Chinese during the summer of 2013.

DoVale, a Portland native who is studying political science and Chinese, is one of approximately 610 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to have received the scholarship. The students will each spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes, in one of 13 countries, to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish or Urdu.

“During the CLS program, I plan to improve my Chinese to prepare myself for another exchange program the next academic year in Nanjing, China,” DoVale says.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand 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 language skills in their future professional careers. 

In the future, DoVale says he plans to “leverage my advanced Chinese ability in either the area of foreign service or in the private sector, where I can deepen the socioeconomic inroads between the developed world and that of the BRICS nations.” The BRICS nations are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Selected finalists for the 2013 CLS program hail from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and represent more than 200 U.S. higher education institutions, including public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, minority-serving institutions and community colleges.

Critical Language Scholarship 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. The CLS Program is administered by American Councils for International Education and The Ohio State University / Ohio University.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Aria Seligmann, UO Office of Strategic Communications, 541-543-1482, arias@uoregon.edu

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with satellite uplink capacity, and a radio studio with an ISDN phone line for broadcast-quality radio interviews.