Erin Dalvini of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a junior anthropology major at Sweet Briar College, has received a Critical Language Scholarship to study in Ankara, Turkey, during the summer of 2011. Dalvini will attend the TÖMER Turkish and Foreign Languages Research and Application Centre at Ankara University.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. According to the website, clscholarship.org, CLS institutes provide “fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks for U.S. citizens” who are undergraduate, master’s or doctoral students.
This summer will not be Dalvini’s first time in Turkey, and her previous visit influenced her decision to pursue the scholarship.
“I have always wanted to learn a language fully immersed in the society that it belongs to,” she said. “So I figured why not learn the language of a country that I fell in love with?”
The CLS Program is part of an effort by the U.S. government to “dramatically” expand the number of Americans “studying and mastering critical need foreign languages,” according to the CLS website. It seeks students from all disciplines and majors and expects that participants will continue studying the language and eventually apply those skills in professional careers.
Dalvini hopes to enter the Peace Corps after graduation to serve in an Eastern European country where Turkish is spoken.