Announcements, News

Two Middlebury students have been awarded the U.S. Department of State’s highly selective Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) and will spend part of their summer overseas studying languages in preparation for related careers. 

Mirza Becirovic ’26 will study Arabic; Ishaani Sharma ‘25 will study Hindi. A third student was also offered the scholarship for Portuguese, but declined it in order to pursue a summer internship at the Cato Institute.

The three Middlebury students are among approximately 500 students selected from 245 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the award for summer 2024.

Two other students, Benjamin Cordola ‘24, Russian, and Willow Stone ‘24, Russian, were named alternates for the award.

Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, the CLS program provides full scholarships to students, with the aim of expanding the number of Americans studying and mastering critical languages. Languages offered through the program are those that are less commonly taught in the United States but deemed integral to U.S. engagement with the world. These include Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.

To learn more about the Critical Language Scholarship and other fellowships at Middlebury, visit the Fellowships office.