Students Get Chance to Study Abroad Thanks to Prestigious Scholarships
Two Howard Community College (HCC) students had their dreams of studying overseas come true thanks to competitive scholarships they received this year.
Critical Language Scholarship
Hannah Shulse was the recipient of the 2017 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), a fully funded summer overseas language and cultural immersion program for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students, funded by the U.S. Department of State. Hannah, a 2017 HCC graduate of the Asian Studies program, received CLS funding through a competitive selection process and spent the summer attending an intensive language program in Changchun, China.
For eight weeks, Hannah and 27 other American students from across the nation participated in intensive Chinese courses at College of Humanities and Sciences of Northeast Normal University, according to the U.S. Department of State. The students immersed themselves in the language by living with local Chinese-speaking roommates and meeting regularly.
This was the first time Hannah had traveled abroad.
“I’ve been studying all aspects of the Chinese culture for years and I never had the chance to go,” she said. “I wanted a trip that would put all of my knowledge to use and improve my Chinese. When I got the scholarship I was elated – and a bit nervous.
“Once I was there, there was just so much to do. I learned so much about the people, history, culture, and language. Because I stuck to the pledge of not speaking English, my Chinese really improved.”
Hannah stuck to campus during the week, but on the weekends, she and her peers would travel outside of the city.
She fondly recalled a trip to the Chinese-North Korean border, where she climbed a mountain called Chang Bai Shan, which translates to “Great White Mountain.” On another weekend, she traveled south to Shenyang, where she visited various museums.
Trying different kinds of food was another aspect of the trip Hannah enjoyed. Across the street from the college were traditional noodle shops, tea houses, Korean barbecue restaurants, as well as some American fast food restaurants.
“Every day we could have something different and get a taste of traditional Chinese food,” she said.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
HCC student Kellie Carswell was awarded the U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and is currently studying in Naha, Japan.
Kellie says she applied for the scholarship to participate in the International Center for Language and Culture’s study abroad program during her last year of study at HCC, where she’s working to obtain an associate’s degree in Gaming and Simulation Design.
The video game industry, she says, is booming and it can be difficult to find a job in that field.
“Many companies in the United States are only looking for highly experienced applicants, rather than entry-level due to the increased popularity in gaming,” Kellie said. “Living in Japan will considerably improve my career goals in a positive way.”
Kellie is studying at the Japanese Language Institute International Center of Language and Culture until late December. She says for two years she has tried to find a way to get to Japan without success.
“I’ve dreamed about going to Japan since I was 11 years old,” she said. “There is just so much I love about Japan – the music, the food, art, traditions.”
As part of the program, Kellie attends school five days a week, learning Japanese and developing her language and culture skills. While she is there, she is looking into future options to continue her Japanese studies.
“I am so excited about living in Japan,” she said. “Learning what everyday life is like in Japan and actually physically being part of it is what I’ve always yearned for.“Living and working in another country miles away from home is drastic and bold, but it’s the best way to experience the culture.”