Two Connecticut College students have each been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship through the U.S. Department of State to pursue intensive language study overseas.
This summer, Anne-Marie Feeney ’19 will travel to Hikone, Japan to study Japanese. Nam Hoang ’17 will head to Tainan, Taiwan for the advanced study of Chinese at National Cheng Kung University.
Feeney, a math major with a double minor in East Asian studies and economics, is looking forward to integrating math and Japanese through an international career upon graduating. She credits her personal connection with Japan and concern for U.S.-Japan relations with motivating her toward achieving native proficiency in Japanese.
“I'm excited to take on the challenge of full immersion in Japan—from developing my Japanese language abilities to learning the cultural nuances,” she said. “I look forward to the day when I can speak fluently with my maternal grandmother and mother in Japanese to hear firsthand about our family history and the origins of my cultural identity.”
A scholar in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts, Hoang is an East Asian studies and history double major who is also a member of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program at Connecticut College.
Following his summer abroad, Hoang will pursue a master’s degree in the Regional Studies-East Asia program at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and plans to seek a doctoral degree in the future.
“I’m looking forward to getting to interact with the locals, learning about the culture there, and studying traditional characters—a more complex Chinese character system than the regular simplified characters written in mainland China,” Hoang said. “This opportunity will help me gain a more comprehensive understanding of East Asia, which is usually dominated by conversations around mainland China, Japan, and often South Korea.”
The CLS program, part of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, looks to broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages overseas.
Connecticut College offers a comprehensive language program that includes Arabic, Chinese, Japanese and Russian—all of which are considered in critical need under CLS program guidelines.
With their awards, Feeney and Hoang bring to nine the number of Camels who have received a Critical Language Scholarship since 2007. Last summer, Brandy Darling ’19 traveled to Dalian, China to build her Chinese language skills.