Our undergrad student Claudia Rodriguez is receiving the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program Award. The CLS Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. Claudia is going to spend her Summer in South Korea learning the language and exploring their culture.

Friends congratulating Claudia with a celebratory cake

I interviewed Claudia, who gave a few tips to other students who might be interested in this program.

How did you prepare for the CLS program?

It was very stressing considering everything I had to do in such short time, but I just took a deep breath and did it! I had a lot of patience, dedication and motivation, because I really wanted to go. I did my absolute best for everything I did! Right now, I’m just working on making sure I have all the papers filled in on time!

What would you tell other people who thinking/planning on applying?

Honestly, just do it! The worse that they can say is no and if they do say no, don’t worry! Because you can always try again. Don’t be afraid to do something just because it’s a big thing.

The application itself is very long and heavy, so I took the time to read it a week before and from there began moving my chess pieces around. I sent emails to professors asking for recommendations letters, asking for transcripts and having my essay questions proofread by two different people. Don’t be like me and start with enough time! That being said, it is a very strict program, so do your research before so you know what you are getting into. Remember to fill out your passport as soon as possible.

What are you expecting from this program?

A lot of great, fun experiences! I also want my Korean to expand and get better. I hope to make good friends and grow as a person with all the new experiences, culture and people that I’m going be exposed to.

Congratulations Claudia! We all wish you a fun and wonderful experience.