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Hey guys, I'm a masters student studying Chinese History. In particular, I am studying Manchu identity in the Qing dynasty. My goal is to continue on to the Ph.D level, and ultimately find a tenure-track job. I'm currently finishing up the third year of Chinese language classes and have an important decision to make this summer. This summer, I have been accepted to two language programs. The first being TUSA which is an almost fully funded two months immersive Mandarin program in Taiwan. The second being a one month Manchu language program in the US, aimed at getting scholars with no prior experience to document reading level. Unfortunately, the Manchu program has no funding, and in total will likely cost me 5000 dollars out of pocket ( including housing, transportation, and food). So far people have told me that Manchu language is such a rare skill, that having it on my C.V. will help make me highly competitive for top-notch Ph.D. programs. So my questions are which program should I choose? Does the benefit of learning Manchu outweigh a prestigious and fully funded Mandarin Program? Is Manchu language really the secret to acceptance at a top-tier program? I'd appreciate any advice you guys can give. '
I've applied for the Boren and Fulbright ETA scholarships, which are both very prestigious. From what I've heard, the Fulbright does have a very good name while the Boren is less known outside the government or academia. I've gotten into the final round for the Fulbright, and I'm still hearing back from the Boren. If I am blessed and receive both, which one should I take? Fulbright Pros: Teach English to university students, connect back to my native culture, increasing my own Vietnamese language skills, talking to the people to get a deeper insight into the health and societal problems of the people of my host environment Cons: It's an ETA and not a research grant, once I get a Fulbright ETA I won't be able to get another grant, it'll just be one bullet point on my resume/graduate school application Boren Pros: Finish my B.A. in Mandarin Chinese in addition to my B.S. in Biology, achieving fluency/proficiency in the language (currently, I'm at the advanced level), experience a new culture/language, it'll be a great addition to my resume if I've studied abroad and is proficient in three languages (English, Vietnamese, and Mandarin) Cons: Many people have a double majors so I won't have an edge, it's not a Fulbright, the scholarship won't pay for all of my fees so I'll need to take out more loans (unless I get the other scholarships I'm applying for also) Either way, I think I'll be able to incorporate a health aspect to it to go towards my future aspirations to develop a career in Global Health in China and Southeast Asia. Please help! What do you think would be the best? Thank you GradCafe community!