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Hi everyone, I'm headed to the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT Austin this fall after accepting a full-ride scholarship offer. I applied to their MGPS program because I'm interested in working for national security. A huge reason why I wanted to go back to school was to take advantage of the multiple critical language scholarships available only to students, such as Boren, CLS, FLAS, etc. Based on my personal interests, I've narrowed down my language learning selection to two languages: Russian and Persian. My questions/concerns are: 1. Is it feasible to learn a new language during graduate school? Especially a mission-critical language? For my first two semesters, my course load will be relatively normal at 9 hours each semester. Also, for what it's worth, I'm currently trilingual (English, Spanish, and French). 2. In terms of my career, which language -- Russian or Persian -- would offer the highest prospects of aiding me start a career in national security once I graduate in approximately three years? UT offers intensive courses for each of these languages, which means I can cover two years of coursework in one year. I also intend to apply to Boren, CLS, and UT's FLAS programs, which expedite language fluency through intensive language and cultural exposure. My study abroad choices are in Odessa, Ukraine for Russian or Dushanbe, Tajikistan for Persian. I've also considered learning Arabic or Hindi/Urdu, as UT hosts Flagship programs for both Arabic and Hindi/Urdu. 3. Alternatively, should I instead just focus my time on learning more technical skills? For example, a GIS certificate or a certificate in data science? National security is my passion. I want to be a suitable, worthy candidate. Any advice is appreciated! Especially in terms of which critical language I should learn, since it's a life-long commitment. Thank you!