Ananzah “Anne” Talavera of Long Beach has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Turkish for eight weeks this summer at the TÖMER Institute in Ankara, Turkey. She leaves on June 18 to start the program, which ends Aug. 19.
Talavera, a graduate student who just earned her master’s degree in counseling at CSULB in May, is among some 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a 2012 scholarship from the CLS Program to study the critical languages of Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish or Urdu.
U.S. students will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in 14 countries where these languages are spoken. The CLS Program provides fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
“I am so thrilled and excited to be a recipient of this scholarship,” said Talavera, the daughter of Art and Grace Talavera of Long Beach and a 1998 graduate of Long Beach Poly High School. “I feel fortunate to be able to expand my knowledge, explore a new culture, continue my commitment and passion in international education, and gain new and diverse learning experiences.”
Talavera received a counseling master’s degree with an option in student development in higher education. Her most recent job was as the program specialist and designated school official (DSO) for the International Student Program at Long Beach City College, where began as a graduate student assistant and was subsequently hired as a program specialist/DSO. She served as a counselor to 200 international students from January 2011 through January 2012.
“In my role as a counselor and advisor in higher education, I have served many international students. Turkish international students continue to study in the U.S. in increasing numbers,” noted Talavera, who got her bachelor’s degree in international and development studies from UC Berkeley in 2002. “Through language training and cultural immersion, I hope to develop positive rapports and build relationships with those I encounter.”
“Upon completion of the CLS Program and my return to the United States, I will use my experiences and learning to serve students better as I will have a greater understanding and awareness of their issues and needs in the context of their language and culture,” she continued. “I will also seek to continue advocating for increased awareness of international education and global perspectives as critical issues in higher education.”
With her newly acquired skills and abilities in the Turkish language and culture, Talavera said she also hopes to develop partnerships with Turkish universities and colleges to encourage increased cultural exchanges and study abroad collaborations of students and scholars.
The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Selected finalists for the 2012 CLS Program hail from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and represent 239 institutions of higher education, including public and private universities and community colleges.
All CLS Program costs are covered for scholarship recipients. This includes travel between the student's US home city and program location, mandatory pre-departure orientation costs, applicable visa fees, room, board, program-sponsored travel within country, and all entrance fees for program activities.
CLS Program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS Program is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and American Councils for International Education.
For further information about the CLS Program or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, visit our websites at http://www.clscholarship.org and http://exchanges.state.gov.