Lauren Thornberg (June 13, 2019): Repurposing My Blog — Time For CLS!

Hello again! Long time no see.

Although my time as an au pair has ended, my time in China has not! In March, I was given the wonderful news that I was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship. This scholarship is intended to increase the number of students studying what are referred to as critical languages — languages the government deems important for diplomatic purposes. The program sends you to another country to study the language (for 20 hours a week!), completely free of charge. In fact, you get a stipend. Theoretically, you could not spend a single penny of your money for 8 weeks. There are 15 languages total, and, of course, I applied for Chinese. After a somewhat grueling application process (with an approximate 10% acceptance rate, making an outstanding application is crucial), I was thrilled to hear that I was selected, and in less than a week, I will be heading to Xi’an, China, to study at Shaanxi Normal University (P.S., wondering where that is?Xi’an is the city with the Terra Cotta Army).

I have thus decided to repurpose this blog from my FSU Gap Year Fellowsblog into my Critical Language Scholarship blog, with the hope to encourage people to pursue these fantastic opportunities, and to potentially let future CLS students know what the experience is like. I’d also like to keep these memories and track my process in this intensive language learning program.

Over the coming weeks, you’ll see plenty of posts from me detailing my classes, lifestyle, excursions, and adventures. I can’t wait to embark on this journey, and I can’t wait to share my stories.

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