Bard College student wins critical language scholarships for foreign language study abroad


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY—Bard College senior Evan Tim ’19major in written arts and human rights, won a very selective prize Critical Language Fellowship (CLS) for the Summer 2019 session. This is the second summer that Tims has received this competitive scholarship. CLS, a United States Department of State program, provides recipients with internships abroad that include intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to foster rapid language gains. These 8-week programs are fully funded, including tuition, visas, airfare, home stays, and a stipend for cultural enrichment/excursions. The CLS program offers foreign language studies at sites around the world in 14 languages ​​identified as essential in the United States national security and Economic prosperity. Languages ​​include Azeri, Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian.

time will study bangla to American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) in Kolkata, India. Spoken from the densely populated nation of Bangladesh to the metropolis of Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal, Bengali is the seventh most widely spoken language in the world. With a population of 4.5 million, Kolkata is the largest city in eastern India and the third largest after New Delhi and Mumbai. In Kolkata, Tims will spend 20 morning hours a week in class focusing on grammar, conversation, pronunciation, journal writing and dictation lessons. In the afternoon, Tims will take a class in cultural activities, such as singing, dancing, storytelling, cooking or painting, and meet his mother-tongue partner for Bengali conversation practice. Tims will participate in weekly local group excursions to explore the area, gain in-depth knowledge of culture and history, and meet locals from different walks of life. Tims will also conduct an overnight excursion to Bishnupur. The summer study ends with an independent project of his choice, presented to his classmates entirely in Bengali. While there, Tims will live with a host family to maximize the language learning and cultural immersion experience.

“I’m studying Bengali because I hope one day to work in the area of ​​climate change-induced migration,” says Tims. “Bangladesh faces many challenges due to its low elevation and wide coastline. Moreover, I have a strong interest in Bengali literature and culture. I intend to pursue higher research on narratives and forms of expression in relation to a changing environment.

CLS is part of a larger government initiative to increase the number of Americans studying and proficient in foreign languages ​​essential to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the globalized workforce of the 21st century and in increasing national competitiveness. CLS is a program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. It is supported in its implementation by the American Councils for International Education.

For more information on the Critical Language Scholarship Program, visit

This event was last updated on 05/14/2019

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