Thirteen Top College Students Named Inaugural CIEE Language Scholars

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CIEE has chosen 13 exemplary U.S. college and university students as the first Language Intensive Focus Track (LIFT) scholars. Each student will receive a scholarship to extend his or her language study in another country through a CIEE study abroad program.

2013 LIFT scholars were chosen from a highly competitive pool of current CIEE students pursuing intensive language development in Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Russian.

CIEE, the world leader in international education and exchange, has named 13 of today’s top college and university students as inaugural Language Intensive Focus Track (LIFT) scholars. As a LIFT scholar, each student receives a minimum of $5,000 to help fund the extended study of a single language in another country through a CIEE study abroad program.

2013 LIFT scholarship recipients were chosen from a highly competitive pool of current CIEE students pursuing intensive language development in Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, or Russian. Beginning in fall 2013, LIFT scholarships will be available to students on all year-long CIEE language programs.

CIEE’s goal for the LIFT scholarship program is to enable serious, academically focused students to pursue deep language acquisition—traditionally a cornerstone of international education—which plays a critical role in students’ abilities to bridge cultures and to become successful professionals in their chosen fields of study. According to CIEE President and CEO James P. Pellow, Ed.D., “The caliber of students who applied for a LIFT scholarship is truly remarkable. Each recipient is clearly dedicated to internationalizing their education. It is our privilege to be able to provide these impressive students with important financial assistance that will allow them to continue to pursue their personal and professional passions in another country.”

LIFT scholarships are awarded to exemplary students based on undergraduate GPA, the strength of a personal essay, and a letter of recommendation from an advisor or faculty member. In her essay, LIFT scholar Ellen Larson, a student at the University of Washington – Stevens Point, summed up the importance of extended language development by today’s students: “My time abroad has been an invaluable experience as it has not only strengthened my language development, but also my understanding of how China engages with other nations in an increasingly globalized social, political, and economic sphere. My language studies directly influence my continuing educational pursuits as well as my professional aspirations. As I am already seeing improvements in my language abilities after one semester’s stay, I can only imagine my progress after living with a host family for an academic year.”

For more information on CIEE’s LIFT scholarship program, visit http://www.ciee.org/lift.

2013 CIEE LIFT Scholars

Elizabeth Cione, George Washington University
A sophomore majoring in Middle Eastern studies and international affairs, Elizabeth Cione is immersing herself in the Arabic language through CIEE’s Language and Culture program in Amman, Jordan. She plans to use the language skills she is currently developing to continue her studies in international law with the goal of working for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in the Middle East.

Mallory Cox, University of Louisville
Sophomore Mallory Cox is pursuing a major in anthropology and a minor in Russian and Slavic studies. Currently enrolled in CIEE’s Russian Language program in St. Petersburg, Russia, following graduation Mallory would like to work for the Department of Energy in the Office of Russian and Eurasian Affairs or as a linguist for the FBI. About her time in Russia, she says, “I think about the rate I was learning the language back home in the States and am totally amazed at the rate that I am now taking command of these skills. I know this is directly related to the immersion factor with natives and the fact that all my courses are taught in Russian.”

Samantha Densmore, University of Oregon
A sophomore studying international studies and political science, Samantha Densmore hopes to one day work as a diplomacy officer in the State Department where she can use her Arabic language skills to help promote greater understanding between the U.S. and the Arabic-speaking world. While on CIEE’s Language and Culture program in Amman, Jordan, Samantha has seen her understanding and love of the Arabic culture blossom along with her ability to converse with the locals. She says: “In this globalized world, it is important that more people learn second languages and have experiences such as my own, as this is the way to spread understanding and avoid unneeded hatred and violence.”

John Humphrey, Hanover College
Senior John Humphrey is currently enrolled in CIEE’s Liberal Arts program in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. An international studies major and Spanish minor, John plans to use the language skills he is developing in Brazil to pursue a degree in international law with a concentration in South American legal systems. Ultimately, he would like to work for an American attaché in Brazil or for the United States Department of Defense as a cultural and legal advisor.

Miriam Keep, DePaul University
Sophomore Miriam Keep is pursuing a double major in international studies and Arabic language and literature with the goal of having a career in the United States Federal Government with a focus in international development. To take her Arabic language skills to the next level, she is currently on CIEE’s Arabic Language program in Amman, Jordan. About her experience, Miriam says: “I have seen myself improve in leaps and bounds since the beginning of the summer, and I am seeing more improvement than ever in my CIEE classes, which push me to improve my vocabulary and fluidity in ways no other language class has.”

Ellen Larson, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
A senior studying Chinese art history, Ellen Larson holds the goal of becoming a leading art historian and curator focused on contemporary Chinese art. Currently a student on CIEE’s Intensive Chinese Language program in Beijing, China, Ellen believes she will rely heavily on the Chinese language skills she is developing in the future and is grateful for the chance to continue to improve her written and spoken Chinese language skills through spring 2013.

Alyssa Lindley, Indiana University
Alyssa Lindley is currently a junior studying Russian language, French language, and international studies. Alyssa chose to study abroad on CIEE’s Russian Language program in St. Petersburg because “I’ve loved Russian since my first day of class, but I knew that I would not attain the fluency and proficiency I wanted unless I immersed myself in the country and culture.”

Zoe Maani, Ohio State University
Junior Zoe Maani is majoring in African studies and Arabic language and culture. To further her Arabic language proficiency, Zoe is currently enrolled in CIEE’s Arabic Language and Culture program in Amman, Jordan. According to her submitted essay, “I am increasingly learning that…any effort I make towards understanding a culture must include an understanding of the language through which the culture is expressed.” Natalie believes the knowledge of a critical language and region she is gaining by studying abroad will put her in a unique position to work in the field of international development following graduation.

Isabel Makman, Bates College
Isabel Makman, a sophomore, has been interested in learning languages since grade school when she realized how important it is to know a foreign language. A Russian language and literature major and Spanish minor, she is currently studying abroad on CIEE’s Russian Language program in St. Petersburg, Russia, which she believes will help her develop the language skills required to become a news correspondent for a major media source in Russia and the surrounding countries.

Kathryn Miles, University of South Carolina
As a junior at the University of South Carolina, Kathryn Miles is pursuing a double major in political science and dance, and a minor in Chinese language and literature. To further her Chinese language study, Kathryn chose to study abroad on CIEE’s Intensive Chinese Language and Culture program in Nanjing, China. This experience has not only allowed her to master the components of the language, but to also gain an understanding of the Chinese culture and politics and the Sino-U.S. relationship, which will help her pursue her goal of working for the Department of State in Educational and Cultural Affairs of the Bureau of Public Affairs or as a Foreign Service Officer.

Tarique Smith, George Washington University
A current participant of CIEE’s Liberal Arts study abroad program in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, junior Tarique Smith recalls “To explore—truly explore—Brazil, it is necessary to understand and speak her language, Portuguese. In learning Portuguese, I have gained a priceless view of the world—a world outside of the America-dominated Anglosphere.” Tarique is currently majoring in international relations with a minor in Latin American studies.

Clara Wool, University of Massachusetts Amherst
As an urban planning and Middle Eastern studies major with a minor in French language and literature, Clara Wool decided to study abroad in Amman, Jordan, on CIEE’s Language and Culture program because “I strongly believe that language acquisition promotes cultural understanding, which foster cooperation between peoples and countries. By learning languages, we develop new ways to express ourselves, becoming more adaptive and innovative, and expand our mindsets.”

Natalie Zine, University of Illinois at Chicago
Sophomore Natalie Zine is currently studying abroad on CIEE’s Language and Culture program in Lisbon, Portugal. An anthropology major, she is continuing the Portuguese language study that she began while studying abroad in Brazil during high school. According to Natalie’s scholarship essay, “Speaking Portuguese here in Lisbon connects me to the locals in a way that communicating in English fails to. It places me more directly into their world, their mindset, and their lives. The ability to speak a shared language facilitates the construction of successful professional and personal relationships, and helps to establish trust, respect, and understanding.”

CIEE
A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and work in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse world by offering the most comprehensive, relevant, and valuable exchange programs available.

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