Sunday, June 3, 2012
Orientation for CLS
On June 3 I boarded a plane to Washington D.C. for orientation for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). This scholarship is a U.S. Department of State Program for the study of languages critical to U.S. foreign policy. I will spend the next eight weeks in an intensive language institute in Kazan, Russia on this group-based intensive language program with structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to increase language fluency and cultural competency. Orientation will last until the 5th when we will fly together from DC to Frankfurt to Moscow and then finally Kazan. The program comes with a language pledge which means that I can only speak Russian with my fellow students while in class, with my host family, at the institute and on group excursions. I think this is going to be the most challenging part of the program but I know that it will only help me when I continue my research in Ukraine so I am optimistic about it! Plus I hope to volunteer with a local shelter on human trafficking issues so it will help my research in that respect as well!
I also should mention that although I am on a US State Department program the ideas and opinions on my blog are mine alone and do not reflect the thoughts of the US government or State Department in anyway.