Critical languages are those languages where the number of trained speakers is fewer than the need of the government and private sectors. While U.S. government lists of which languages are actually in “critical” supply varies across federal agencies those generally accepted as such include Arabic, Azeri, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese (primarily Mandarin), Dari, Farsi, Hindi, Bahasa-Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu. These languages are needed not just by government agencies such as the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA, and the NSA, but increasingly within the private sector where trade and global interactions demand a multi-lingual American job force. Numerous scholarships, internships, and study abroad programs are available on a competitive and needs-basis for students interested in these languages.
In its first year of operation the McDowell Center has helped fund intensive academic courses at UTA in Arabic; and Localization and Translation courses for Russian, Arabic, Chinese, German, and French. The Center has also provided scholarships to students travelling to Russia, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey for language development. The Center’s goal is to expand these programs so that Critical Languages will become a key component of not only the Liberal Arts degree but of the UTA experience as well.
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The Charles T. McDowell Center for Critical Languages and Area Studies announces competition for the Betty and Roger Ruch Study-abroad Scholarships for the 2013-2014 academic year. The awards are for up to $3,000 are open to all qualified undergraduates within the College of Liberal Arts. Students from other colleges/schools who have minor fields of study in Liberal Arts are also eligible. The Ruch Scholarships may be used in conjunction with study-abroad programs including both the study of critical languages, and for area studies generally. For area studies priority will be given to those countries or regions where critical languages are spoken. In all cases the awards are not intended to be the sole sources of funding for projects.
1. Applicants must submit a letter of interest (not an e-mail) describing the project or program to be undertaken. This includes independent study abroad programs approved of by the University of Texas at Arlington’s Office of International Studies, UTA summer study abroad programs, or other university-affiliated for which academic credit is possible. Students wishing to build or strengthen language skills may apply for programs in Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin), Dari, Farsi (Persian), Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. Students who are native or heritage speakers of these languages may not apply for awards relating to these languages or their country of origin.
2. A resume indicating education and job experiences.
3. Transcript of all college-level work.
4. Two (2) letters of recommendation from full-time tenured or tenure-track UTA faculty members.
5. Full-time enrollment (12+ hours) at UTA, and sophomore standing of 45 hours.
6. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
7. Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
8. Post-completion report. The recipient must prepare a presentation of their work to the scholarship committee, or in a college or university-wide venue.
Application Deadline: Nov. 20 for Spring 2014, and March 1 for Summer 2014. (The earlier the applications are received, the likelier they will be eligible for funding.)
Applications should be directed to:
Dr. Mark Cichock, Director
Charles T. McDowell Center for Critical Languages and Area Studies
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