Cottey College third-year student Tiara Rowell was announced as a recipient of a scholarship from The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program. With an acceptance rate of less than ten percent, the CLS is one of the most competitive scholarships in the U.S. and one of the most prestigious foreign language scholarships for U.S. students. The CLS Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The CLS Program offers approximately 600 students from the United States the opportunity to participate in an intensive language study abroad. This nationally competitive program funds students who study one of the 14 critical need foreign languages and is part of the National Security Language Initiative. The 14 critical languages include Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu.
Rowell will be studying Bahasa (Indonesian) for her language.
“My mother is Indonesian,” she explained, “and I have family in Jakarta that I have never met. I have always been interested in visiting the country and getting in touch with my cultural roots. Luckily, this seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
Rowell will leave for Washington, D.C., on June 4 for a two-day pre-departure orientation. On June 6, participants fly out to their respective countries.
“The CLS Indonesian program will take place in Malang, Indonesia, and I will be studying at the Universitas Negeri Malang,” Rowell added. “We study almost every day at the university for about five hours, and then we will take trips and do immersion-like activities on the weekends. After all the hard work, the program ends on August 8.”
Immediately after she graduates from the program, Rowell intends to become CELTA certified. The Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults is a highly respected credential that will prepare Rowell to teach abroad.
“I think my liberal arts degree has taught me a lot about the different areas of academic study, and this path seems like a good start for me. After I become certified, my hope is to teach in Indonesia,” said Rowell.