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UCA student awarded multiple scholarships to study in South Korea

Vanessa Rogers-Wright

University of Central Arkansas student Vanessa Rogers-Wright has received two scholarships that allow her to study in South Korea.

Rogers-Wright is a recipient of a Critical Language Scholarship, and she has received a Freeman Award for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA).

She is a senior with a double major in political science and international studies and a double minor in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and Asian studies. She was born in the United Kingdom and grew up in Little Rock.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program is a U.S. Department of State-sponsored program designed to give American college students cultural immersion experiences abroad and grow the number of U.S. students who study a foreign language. The program aims to increase fluency in languages that are significant in the global workforce.

Finalists for the 2021 CLS program were selected from a pool of more than 4,600 applicants, representing all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Rogers-Wright is the second UCA student to receive a CLS scholarship.

“This scholarship means that I can expand my knowledge of Korean,” Rogers-Wright said. “The last time I was able to study it formally was when I studied abroad during high school in 2017 with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth.

“I’m hoping this program will help me reach the advanced level which will bring me a step closer to fluency.”

Rogers-Wright traveled to Chonnam National University in Gwangju, 166 miles outside of Seoul, South Korea, in June for the CLS scholarship program.

Rogers-Wright shown studying in South Korea.

In the fall semester, Rogers-Wright transitions to the student exchange program with UCA partner, Myongji University, located in Seoul. She will be UCA’s first outbound UCA exchange to this new partner. Rogers-Wright was awarded a $5,000 Freeman-ASIA award for the fall semester.

Rogers-Wright plans to graduate in May 2022 and pursue a career as a consular foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State.

About the Critical Language Scholarship program
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century’s globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

About Freeman-ASIA Award
Freeman-ASIA is sponsored by the Freeman Foundation, a private foundation with offices in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Freeman Foundation’s major objectives include strengthening the bonds of friendship between the United States and countries of East Asia. Through education and educational institutes, the Foundation hopes to develop a greater appreciation of Asian cultures, histories, and economies in the United States and a better understanding of the American people and of American institutions and purposes by the peoples of East Asia. A Freeman-ASIA Award provides need-based funding to assist the recipient with the cost of the study abroad program and related expenses, including airfare, basic living costs, local transportation, books, etc.