Student awarded Critical Languages Scholarship to study in Jordan

contact: Linda Hanes
| WMU News
Photo of Kristen Canavan.


KALAMAZOO—A Western Michigan University student from Ortonville, Mich. will study Arabic in Jordan for the summer semester through a prestigious federal scholarship.

Kristen Canavan, a senior majoring in global and international studies, received a full scholarship from the Critical Languages Scholarship program to participate in an eight-week summer course at the Jordan Language Academy in Madaba, Jordan, where she will focus on Arabic language.

Canavan was selected as one of 100 awardees from a pool of 10,000 applicants representing more than 500 colleges and universities across the U.S. to study one of the 13 languages offered through the CLS program: Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Turkish, Urdu, Arabic, Persian, Chinese, Japanese and Russian. With an acceptance rate of less than 10 percent, the CLS is one of the most competitive study abroad scholarships available to citizens of the United States.

Kristen Canavan

A graduate of Brandon High School, Canavan is WMU's second CLS recipient. She plans to graduate after the summer II term and begin a master's degree program in Middle Eastern and North African studies at the University of Michigan in the fall.

About the Critical Languages Scholarship

An initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the CLS program provides both undergraduate and graduate students the chance to develop their language and international skills in areas of language in which there is a great demand for speakers at the professional level and a lack of speakers. Students receiving the scholarship receive full funding, including airfare, visa fees, language instruction, food and lodging.

Support for Canavan's application was provided by Dr. Mustafa Mughazy, professor of Arabic, Department of World Languages and Literatures, and Dr. Vincent Desroches, associate professor of French, Department of World Languages and Literatures.

Many more student and faculty funding opportunities are accessible on the Haenicke Institute for Global Education website.

For more information about the Critical Languages Scholarship, visit

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