Critical Language Scholarship Program: Personal Statement

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Wearing my polka dot backpack, Hollister shirt and blue jeans, I opened the door and walked into the classroom. It was 2005 and the day of my first Spanish class. I sat down, class began and the teacher spoke only in Spanish the entire 50 minutes. It was a whirlwind experience, and I was hooked. That day marked the first step down a path that would develop a passion for language learning and international affairs. Throughout my extended academic study of Spanish, I have always desired to learn a third language and to dive deep into another culture. The opportunity to learn the Azerbaijan language through the Critical Language Scholarship program would allow me to pursue a passion and develop pertinent professional skills.
The Critical Language Scholarship presents both an academic and cultural challenge I strongly desire to take-on. My academic
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I have been wanting to broaden my knowledge and experiences beyond Latin America and Azerbaijan presents the type of non-Euro centric opportunity I desire. During my graduate studies, I am focusing on post-Soviet countries and Azerbaijan to present a fascinating case study. The country and its people have flourished compared to other former-Soviet states, with Baku developing into a world-class city. Azerbaijani is also spoken in Iran and Dagestan, and I want to learn more about these countries and how the language shapes their citizens’ lives. In addition to my graduate studies focusing on national security, the Critical Language Scholarship would develop necessary skills for my professional goals. The language education, along with engagement opportunities beyond the classroom, would provide the needed depth to be competitive when applying to work with the State Department or an intelligence job. The program would complement my graduate school education, further developing my knowledge of international diplomacy and
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