Five students receive critical language scholarships from State Department

Critical Languages LogoFive UNC students have been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study critical needs languages during the summer of 2014.

The UNC students who earned a Critical Language Scholarship include:

Anastasia Bury, a rising senior from South Haven, Mich., will study Persian in Tajikistan. Bury is a math and physics major.

Rachel Deason, a rising senior from Matthews, N.C., will study Chinese in China. Deason is an Asian studies major and history minor.

Sara Elbohy, a May 2014 graduate from Shelby, Mich., will study Turkish in Turkey. Elbohy received her bachelor’s degree in in anthropology and global studies.

Esha Grover, a master’s degree candidate from Asheville, N.C., will study Punjabi in India. Grover will continue in UNC’s TransAtlantic Master’s Program in Bremen, Germany, after completing her study of Punjabi.

Ashley Rivenbark, a May 2014 graduate from Charlotte, N.C., will study Chinese in China. Rivenbark double-majored in Asian studies and Romance languages (Spanish).

These UNC students are among the approximately 550 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2014. Participants will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in their host country.

The Critical Languages Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. It provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to increase diversity among international educational exchange program participants and promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Visit for more information about the award.