UK Grad Student to Study Chinese Abroad
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 26, 2012) — A University of Kentucky graduate student in the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce has been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship to study Chinese. Nick Grisanti, a second year graduate student in international commerce, will spend two months in an intensive Chinese study program in Shanghai, China.
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program, a program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will offer intensive summer language institutes overseas in 13 critical need foreign languages during the summer of 2012. The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
Grisanti, the son of Kathy and Paul Grisanti of Louisville, Ky., received his bachelor’s degree from UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics in 2008. After graduation, Grisanti taught English in Taipei, which led him to study Chinese at local language schools in Taiwan. Grisanti was able to parlay his international experience and interest in the Chinese language into a place in the Patterson School after two years abroad.
Grisanti is looking forward to the experiences this scholarship will provide. "In Shanghai we will have 20 hours a week of classroom study, conversation practice with local students, cultural excursions, and a couple weekend trips to different cities," Grisanti said. "Learning about China’s economy, politics, society, and of course the language helps to better understand the dynamic relationship (between the United States and China.)"
In his spare time while in China, Grisanti hopes to connect with locals through a common interest – basketball. "I’m looking forward to finding a neighborhood game of basketball, which China and Kentucky share as a favorite sport."
Upon completion of his master’s degree, Grisanti hopes to find a job that utilizes his foreign policy background. "I am hoping that the CLS Program’s connection with the State Department will open doors both in government and the private sector,” said Grisanti.
The CLS Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences for seven to 10 weeks for U.S. citizens who are undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students. The application for the 2013 summer program will be available in the fall on the CLS website, http://clscholarship.org.
For students interested in language immersion, the National Security Education Program Boren Scholarship may also be an opportunity to consider.
Students interested in applying for the CLS and/or Boren Scholarships should contact Pat Whitlow, director of the UK Office of External Scholarships. The Office of External Scholarships (OES), part of the Division of Undergraduate Education, assists current students and recent alumni in applying for scholarships and fellowships funded by sources outside the university. Specifically, OES helps students strengthen an application, develop a personal statement, practice for an interview and provides other preparation activities for the scholarship application process. Students who are interested in these opportunities are encouraged to begin work with Whitlow well in advance of the scholarship deadline.
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