Three University of Nebraska–Lincoln students have received U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships for summer 2018.
Seniors Khenda Mustafa and Jordan Young, and junior Blair Mills have received scholarships and will study overseas for up to 10 weeks.
Managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Critical Language Program is a federal government program designed to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. The scholars gain important language and cultural skills that in turn allow them to contribute to the United States’ economic competitiveness and national security.
Mustafa, a senior global studies major from Lincoln, plans to study Arabic in Tangier, Morocco. She is a Kurdish refugee from Iraq, having immigrated to the United States with her family during the second Gulf War.
Led by her background and experience with persecution, Mustafa is interested in pursuing global human rights and supporting the rights of religious and ethnic minorities, women and political prisoners.
Mustafa is studying in Morocco this semester and was unavailable for comment on the award.
Young, a senior broadcasting and advertising/public relations major from Omaha, will study Korean in South Korea.
With a background in advertising and public relations, Young is interested in working for a public relations company to promote Korean popular music, Korean dramas and broadcast entertainment.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be immersed in a new culture and gain incredible growth in speaking, listening to and writing Korean,” Young said. “I hope this will give me a leg up in my future career.”
Mills, a global studies, Russian and political science major from Kearney, will study in Vladimir, Russia. During her senior year at Nebraska, Mills plans to apply for a Fulbright Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Russia.
Long term, Mills intends to go to law school and study international law.
The Critical Language Scholarship program provides scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students, allowing them to spend eight to 10 weeks overseas studying one of 14 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu.
The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. The scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers.