Chris Schulz Published

Two WVU Students Receive Federal Scholarship For Language Studies

Dozens of flags are displayed on tall flagpoles in front of the Allée des Nations in front of the Palace of Nations, United Nations Office at Geneva. The flagpoles draw the eye towards the building under a blue sky with whispy clouds. Trees are visible between the flagpoles.
The Palace of Nations, United Nations Office at Geneva.
Tom Page/Wikimedia Commons

Two West Virginia University students will travel abroad this summer as recipients of the competitive U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship. 

Ariana Burks and Matthew Kinzer, both West Virginia natives, will spend two months learning Arabic and Japanese, respectively. 

Burks, a junior double majoring in international studies and geography with a minor in Arabic, will travel to Nizwa in Oman for her studies.

Kinzer, who graduated in May with degrees in finance and economics, will study in Okayama, Japan.

The Critical Language Scholarship program seeks to expand the number of Americans studying languages that are essential for the United States’ engagement with the world. 

Burks and Kinzer were two of the 500 recipients this year out of a pool of more than 5,000 applicants from across the country.

Recipients serve as ambassadors representing the diversity of the United States and build lasting relationships with people in their host countries. They are also expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and to apply their skills in their future careers.