Skip to main content

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

May 31, 2017
UNC Global Affairs

Two 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 critical languages during summer 2017. A critical language is one not commonly taught in the U.S. but considered essential for global engagement.

Donald Santacaterina and Juan Nunez Ledesma are among the approximately 550 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2017. Participants will spend seven to ten weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in their host country.

Santacaterina, a doctoral student in the Department of History, will study Chinese in Dalian, China. His research interests center on the Chinese Hukou Household Registration System and its impact on family life in recent Chinese history. Ledesma, an undergraduate student majoring in political science, will study Arabic in Meknes, Morocco.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to 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 language skills in their professional careers. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs supports more than 50,000 participants in academic and professional exchange programs annually to promote mutual understanding and respect between the United States and other countries.

UNC students may visit the Center for Global Initiatives website for more information about the award and application support.

Media contact: Katie Bowler Young, director of global relations, 919.962.4504,

More News