Robert E Cook Honors Student Wins Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

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Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship winner Natalie McCauley, a senior English and history major of the Robert E. Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will study Russian literature and language this semester in the Bard-Smolny Program at Bard College in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

I'm able to participate in one of the top programs in the field

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship winner Natalie McCauley, a senior English and history major of the Robert E. Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, will study Russian literature and language this semester in the Bard-Smolny Program at Bard College in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Studying the language is especially appealing, she said, because of "The quirks of the Russian language. There are a lot of peculiarities and idiosyncrasies in the Russian language that we don't have in English, and they make learning the language fun."

McCauley, of Moon Township, first attended an orientation at Bard College in New York before going to Russia.

"In St. Petersburg, I have another three days of orientation, followed by a two-week long intensive language course." she said. "Then our semester classes. I'm signed up to take a class on Russian literature, eight credits worth of language classes, and I have the option to audit another class of my choice. I'll probably choose another literature course."

Though she is drawn to studying the Russian language, she most enjoys the influences of literature.

"I love reading literature," she said. What is most influential, she said is "Finding really well-written literature that puts ideas and images into concise, beautiful, flowing words."

McCauley said the Gilman scholarship will provide a superior educational benefit.

"I'm able to participate in one of the top programs in the field," she said. "Other programs for Russian literature aren't of the same quality as Bard/Smolny. They don't offer that kind of instruction, experience, immersion or cultural education. At Bard/Smolny, not only are American students placed in classes with native speakers-- and often the American student is the only international student in the class-- but they are also encouraged to participate or create co-curricular clubs outside of class, something study abroad programs do not offer."

McCauley plans to continue her study of Russian literature post-college. She plans to pursue Russian literature at the graduate level, serve in the Peace Corps and become a professor of Russian literature, Russian or English as a second language.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarships are awarded to undergraduate students who have limited financial means to study abroad.

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