Emma Roy, the recipient of a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship, will be heading to Taiwan in June to study Chinese
photo by Angela Foster/UTC
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga rising junior Emma Roy, a Brock Scholar in the Honors College majoring in secondary education: political science, has been selected for the U.S. Department of State’s 2023 Critical Language Scholarship Chinese Program—an immersive summer opportunity for U.S. college and university students to learn languages essential to America’s engagement with the world.
A native of Murfreesboro, Ms. Roy is slated to study Chinese at National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, from June 20 through Aug.
“The CLS Program is an intensive overseas immersion program, so it is the perfect opportunity to learn Chinese again—or refresh everything that I’ve learned through middle school and high school,” said Ms. Roy, a 2021 graduate of The Webb School in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. “I am hoping I’ll just better my understanding of the language through this program. I want to bring back whatever I learn overseas—the language, the culture, the life lessons that I’m going to learn over there. I want to bring that back here.”
An initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, students accepted into the CLS Program spend eight to 10 weeks abroad studying one of 14 critical languages, with intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.
According to its website, the scholarship program is part of a broader U.S. government effort to significantly boost the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages crucial to national security and economic prosperity. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students nationwide applied for the scholarship this year, with approximately 500 students from 245 institutions selected as finalists.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Ms. Roy said. “I feel like this is the beginning of my future.”
Ms. Roy is the second UTC student selected for the award, joining Hannah Horton, who spent the summer of 2019 studying in Busan, South Korea.