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Five UNC Students Receive Critical Language Scholarships from US Department of State

August 5, 2019
UNC Global Affairs

Five students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study a language abroad during Summer 2019.

The Carolina awardees are among the 555 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2019. Participants spent eight to ten weeks in intensive language institutes in their host country this summer.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to dramatically 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. Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. Participants are among the more than 55,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Part of the bureau’s mission is to increase diversity among international educational exchange program participants and promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

UNC-Chapel Hill students may visit the Center for Global Initiatives website for more information about the award and support available to applicants. The deadline to apply is Nov. 19.

2019 Critical Language Scholarship Recipients

  • Agatha Almunir ’19, a global studies major, studied Indonesian in Malang, Indonesia.
  • Mohit Bajaj ’19, a Chinese and mathematics double major, studied Chinese in Suzhou, China.
  • Madison Folks ’19, master of art history and master of information science, studied Japanese in Okayama, Japan.
  • Tracey Spaugh ’21, a global studies and peace, war and defense double major and an Arabic minor, studied Arabic in Ibri, Oman.
  • Geronimo Owen ’21, a history major, studied Hindi in Jaipur, India.

Learn more about the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship Program and UNC’s application support, available through the Center for Global Initiatives.

Media contact: Katie Bowler Young, director of Global Relations, UNC Global, +1.919.962.4504,

Center for Global Initiatives contact: Katie Costanza, research, communication and program manager, Center for Global Initiatives, +1.919.843.7546,

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