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  1. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    @vlad_poutine I'm really sorry it didn't work out this time. Did you go to an advisor with your essays? I spent a whole week writing my essays and thought they were great. Then I went to my advisor and he (kindly) tore them apart. I sat on them for a few weeks and revisited them. They were indeed not as good as I had thought. I demolished them and rebuilt them, but the advisor still had a lot of criticism. I implemented his suggestions and spent an eternity fixing little things here and there. I got so tired of editing that I just held my breath and send it. Looking back, if I had sent any of the first two drafts, there's no way I would have made the cut. I am so thankful I went to the advisor twice, because I was minimally comfortable with what I finally sent. Minimally. I'm still nervous that they aren't good enough to make me a finalist. Did you make a case for how your knowledge and passion for Russian will be implemented into your life and how it can contribute to the economy or national security/diplomacy? Did you discuss the lengths you go to learn Russian on your own, like seeking out native speakers in your area or volunteering with your language skills (or what TOTAL EXTREMES do you go to if you have neither of those options)? Doesn't matter if your skills are good or bad, and you are not a failure. I really have no room to be giving advice since this is my first time applying and I don't even know if I'll get the scholarship in the end, but I can tell you what I said further up thread: Make this your Russian Year! Continue studying hard, make it an integral part of your life inside and outside the classroom, and go to your advisor and go through your essays and tear them apart and rebuild them before trying again next cycle. Learning Russian is only a waste of time if you aren't passionate about it to begin with, not if you don't get a scholarship. At the very, very worst, take out a loan to go abroad. Loans are not good, but for studying abroad they are worth every cent. Russian is quite important, and it's probably going to be even more important in the coming years, so don't ever give up. I wish you the best of luck!
  2. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    @snegurochka I'm sorry to hear, but at least there is next year to try it! Maybe it might help to look at it this way. My experience has been that the higher your language level, the more effectively you learn during an abroad session. If you go as a beginning or intermediate student, the learning curve can be so overwhelming that you don't even know what you don't know and you feel like you keep falling on a treadmill that's getting faster and faster (though you learn a lot, obviously). When you go as an advanced student, you have a better idea of the language and you get so much more out of the experience. So, spend the next year continuing to work on your Russian, work on your CLS application super early, and make a very good case about how you can contribute to the American economy or national security/diplomacy through knowing Russian (maybe you did that already). I'm definitely jealous that you get to study Russian I'd love to learn it, but I stop every time I try because it's so difficult. Keep your head up and keep working hard!
  3. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Semi-finalist for Advanced Chinese! I can't believe it! Best of luck to all of you!
  4. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    I really hope they seriously take dedication to a language in consideration. I've been studying Chinese for 10 years and will continue to for the rest of my life. Most people take it and give up after a few years – even those who did a semester or two abroad. It's really a life commitment and even heritage speakers my age tell me how they couldn't keep up with it. I definitely think everybody should get a chance to study abroad, but I hope they don't count my past experience abroad against me, because I really need this program to get to the level I need to be at for my job, and I made that clear in my application. I'm out of school after this year, so it's my last chance to win this. Wishing you all best of luck, I'm definitely on pins and needles myself.
  5. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Fingers crossed for you, chupacabra. You did everything you were supposed to and I would like to think this sort of thing shouldn't be held against you.
  6. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    I'm getting my Master's in Chinese and I want to be a Chinese teacher. So, I definitely made a case about how much I need more training to help me in my career. Hopefully they'll agree!
  7. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    So, I think it said include all schools attended within the last 5 years. But I think if the transcript for School B has all your credits from School A, that should work. I was in the same situation as you and attached transcripts for both schools A and B just in case. But my School B transcript had everything from School A.
  8. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Wow! Thank you. If that's the case, I'm even more excited about this program and I hope I get accepted. I made it pretty clear that I need my target language for my career and I'll be using it every day of my life, so hopefully that was a start. I found the short essays to be quite difficult and revised them multiple times after seeing an advisor. It was difficult to skillfully write what I wanted to say about myself in just 350 words while trying to gauge whether or not that was what they wanted to hear. I wish we could get scores back for our essays, because I'm dying to know how they are going to dissect mine. What language are you applying for?
  9. Critical Language Scholarship 2018

    Submitted mine for Advanced Chinese. Is there anybody out there who went through Advanced Chinese? How 'advanced' does it get? To give you an idea of my own level, I've already taken the fourth year-level Chinese classes at my university and I made A's in them. I have already studied abroad before through a different program and was rated Advanced - Low in both speaking and writing. I'm wondering if that will disqualify me from consideration. But truthfully, my Chinese is VERY broken, and a summer of full immersion abroad will really help me, so I hope I get selected. Best of luck to everybody!