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About Rivai

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  1. Boren 2018-2019

    Hi everyone, I'm an ex-Boren Scholar and I'd like to share a few things that I wish I had known through the Boren process and after receiving my Boren. 1. On the Boren Scholarship, you have 31 days of travel maximum and you can only spend them two weeks at a time which means if you are staying for a year and you want to go home for Christmas, you can only be home for 14 days maximum. I stayed in my host country during my Boren, but many of my other cohort members who were Boren decided to return home and were left with 0 travel days when they returned for the second semester. You also cannot travel when you have class days unless you have a letter from a program director, you will also need to fill out travel requests which tell the Boren staff exactly where you will be staying at least two weeks before your trip. I do however know Borens that do not tell IIE about their travel, but I would never do this and so shouldn't you. You can travel without wasting your days before your program starts with your own money or after you program ends with your own money without telling IIE but during the program, you can't. 2. If anyone here is applying for a country with a travel warning, prepare yourself mentally if you get the Boren because you will not be going to that country at all. Not even to visit, this is specifically relevant if you are applying to study in Russia or Ukraine. We cannot even travel to those countries for tourism during our Boren. I met many Russian applicants in the orientation who really wanted to go to Russia or Ukraine but they were being sent to Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan, I felt so sorry for these kids, so please prepare yourself mentally to not cross the border, this can be especially depressing to those who are studying in border cities. 3. There are multiple complaints (including angry complaints) in the private Boren group about the service requirement. The impression overall is that Boren does not really help you vitally in getting employment with the federal government but it is a good milestone for other competitive scholarships such as Pickering or Rangel or Paynes. I am not in this stage yet but this is what I have seen written. 4. My biggest shock during my Boren was meeting Borens (this is not all Borens; it was just an experience I had) who had absolutely 0 passion for their areas of respective study who just thought it would be a practical language to learn. As can easily be seen, the majority of Borens are PoliSci or IA or Global Studies majors, there was also a slight lack of diversity. Boren wants to see you have a clear path for your language and how you will use it in your government job, you should connect the dots in your essay. This is not like CLS where creativity and passion are heavily valued, Boren merely requires a clear track of you studying the language because of its specific mission. This is why some Borens do not get awarded a CLS. 5. The IIE staff can be a little difficult to deal with at times but they are nice. 6. Do not be disappoint if you do not get the Boren or are named alternate, it does not make you any more or less of a person. I personally met an alternate who did not have a clear career track in their resume and a Boren who did for the same language. Ironically, the alternate had much more passion for the area and showed more curiosity for the people living in the area and understanding them than the Boren awardee who just thought it was a good language to have. Having a Boren does not define you as a scholar, and you should not let it define you. 7. Despite its flaws, Boren is a great program that allowed me to study abroad when I just did not have the financial means to do so. It is a great opportunity which distinguished me when I met my congresswoman. Inflate your costs in the budget email! Remember to keep in mind the possible change in currency now that the dollar is so weak! Do not sell yourself short, I also know Borens who did not inflate their costs and tried to be frugal only for them to deeply regret it. Feel free to ask me any questions, in the year I applied, all Fellows got a budget email and a week later all scholars got a budget email.
  2. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    We will be told our sites next week, we don’t know.
  3. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

  4. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    In support of everyone here annoyed, I'd like to say your annoyance is completely valid. In other less hopeful news, I recently read that someone called today and CLS said they wold send notifications early March period and they would not come out past a week from now. I read this on the Facebook, I know some people here have put some stuff on the line in hope of acceptance and your frustrations are entirely valid. Keep in mind, this is a US State Department sponsored program so this is completely normal, tbh it really reminds me of Boren. I think it's better just to move your expectations to next week rather than this week, if the emails come this week then we'll be impressed and happier.
  5. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    It seems like we’re just closer to the tradition in getting the notifications during the march week rather than late February. The notifications are coming later and later each year, quite similar to the Boren program, the vagueness even reminds me of it. I think I read that last year they also replied that notifications would be out one week and sent them the next which pissed off some people because of the lack of transparency. By this pattern, I suggest everyone keeps their expectations flexible to when we will know.
  6. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Seeing as we're past the 26 and 27, it seems very likely, I hope we're wrong but we should start considering the possibility of not knowing until next week.
  7. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    I doubt it, but hope like everyone else, seeing as they have responded very vaguely to when they would send notifications and last year they sent them March 7 I think.
  8. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Lol is it weird I’m expecting the notifications next week instead, I have 0 faith. I’m so nervous.
  9. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    To be honest, I don't know but I don't remember it and people in the facebook applicant group don't either. I don't think we should worry too much about it because of the wording, "preference MAY be given" rather than "preference WILL be given." Plus, there are people who have won CLS twice for different languages in the past years including the last, and two months is not a limited studied abroad experience. I'm a first time applicant but it seems to me that this would affect the Intermediate level applicants the most, it would be extremely unlikely (realistically speaking) for you to have an advanced level of a language unless you're rich and can afford private tutoring. Seems like a lot of us here who got to the second round have studied abroad judging from this thread. If I'm honest, I would see having studied a language before abroad as a sign of commitment to a language, I know people who have taken student loans to study abroad because they just did not have the resources to continue to progress in a language. This should be seen as a sign of commitment rather than being played against applicants. You just can't compare a person who has studied arabic/russian/mandarin in the states for two years, has excellent resources including tutors and advisers who help tailor his/her application for a prestigious scholarship with a person who is willing to get themselves into debt in order to study a language due to lack of resources. I'm going to choose to have a little faith.
  10. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Look in the frequently asked questions in the Cls website, “how are applicants selected?”
  11. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    hey so i was recently let known that the CLS page changed, now it says we will be notified by early march 2018 and it also says preference may be given to students who have never studied abroad before which is kind of a bummer for my case and according to the past posts in this thread, a bummer for others in here too. although I do find it extremely unlikely if you didn't study abroad before and you're in the advanced category of your target language.
  12. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    I'm so sorry this is happening to you, to think they promoted in their Facebook to email them and all if you didn't receive an email. Absolutely crazy they can't just give you a simple answer, I would recommend thinking about your options in regards to Grad school to deal with the nervousness. I always make a plan B to look forward to when I apply to things, I feel it's really the best way to cope. Not being accepted to grad school or a scholarship is nothing to be ashamed about (I've got a friend who applied three years for a Fulbright and got it on his third try). A lot of people don't realize that it's not just hard work, it's if you have decent advisors who know what they're doing, good professors/mentors who put you in the right path, resilience, and parents or friends who support you, etc.
  13. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Semi finalist for Russian, completely in shock right now. I'm from a recently branded disaster zone so I couldn't even get a letter from my Russian teacher and I thought this would be held against me.
  14. Fulbright 2017-2018

    Has anyone here tried to apply to a country that they have already visited for a limited amount of time (3-5 months)?