Mateng

Critical Language Scholarship 2018

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@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! 

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They're usually in batches, some languages are earlier some later, sometimes even within languages they can batch up. So don't fear if you don't have an email yet!

Congratulations to those of you who've moved forward! CLS is really tough! So if you didn't get through, please keep in mind that you're not alone. It took me three tries before I got through to the finals my first time.

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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.

Edited by Rivai

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Hey everyone! First of all, congratulations to those who are currently semi-finalists. I  have been low key stalking this group thread this past week. I applied for advanced beginning Arabic and did not receive the grant for this summer. I already have plans to apply next year,  but was wondering for those who have applied multiple times if you have any advice about how to approach the application the second time around. I wrote several drafts of my essays (as I am sure many of you did) and was told by my advisor that I had a strong proposal (again, as I am sure many of yours were as well), but I am not sure how to rework the essays so that I have a better shot next time around. It is early, but the earlier the better in my opinion. Again, congrats to those who did make it through. It takes a lot of time and dedication to fill out those applications so everyone (including those who did not make it..this time ;) ) should be proud of themselves for the work they put in.

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Rejected from Russian. Kinda Really bitter about it. I worked so hard to get good credentials - 3.8 GPA, A's in all my classes, including Russian; glowing recommendations, and (so I thought) decent essays. My first professor even made me sign up for this random national Russian language essay contest last year and I won (still don't know how that happened but I thought it would give me good chances.) My fragile ego and I have been going absolutely bonkers trying to figure out what I did wrong. Seriously. I lost sleep thinking about it. Maybe my language skills aren't as good as I thought they were, I don't know. It's entirely possible. I feel like a failure. I wanted so badly to expand my Russian and apply that knowledge in the future but I guess it was a waste of time? 

I'll get over it eventually I guess.

 

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@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! 

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I'm having a really rough time still waiting to hear if I made it through just the first round (two days and counting now). No word with grad school apps was a bad sign, this feels the same. I've called and emailed but only got through to one very tired, annoyed staff member who would not tell me anything. I've never been in this kind of situation before, and it's a lot harder to sit and wait patiently than I thought. 

:(

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@busybee I've heard from two other people I know that they're in the same boat. This happened last year too, it's a technicial error with how they send out emails. The official stance is that this is completely random and not at all an indication of the results. I remember a girl in my group last year who ended up receiving the scholarship after email delays like this. So don't give up hope, as hard as that is! I'm sorry the person you talked to was so brusque, I think they may be getting a lot of calls about this right now. Though why they can't just tell people over the phone at this stage is beyond me!

 

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@dragon_seed Thanks so much for the reply. I think you're right. I took on a lot of difficult classes last semester and other factors aside I think I was pretty burned out by the time I turned in the application. Looking over my essays again, yeah, there was not a lot of convincing evidence at that point. In fact, I talked more about math than I did about Russian and its surrounding culture, which is a little ridiculous considering that this is the critical LANGUAGE scholarship, haha. But, I'm glued to this language, scholarship or not. Which is something I can definitely not say about math.

Congratulations to everyone who did get it and best of luck to those still waiting, I hope they get it too. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, busybee said:

I'm having a really rough time still waiting to hear if I made it through just the first round (two days and counting now). No word with grad school apps was a bad sign, this feels the same. I've called and emailed but only got through to one very tired, annoyed staff member who would not tell me anything. I've never been in this kind of situation before, and it's a lot harder to sit and wait patiently than I thought. 

:(

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. 

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7 hours ago, Rivai said:

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. 

Thanks Rivai, and @mrs12 for your support and kind words. I've already applied to SALAM and I'm working on a couple of FLAS applications, so it has been helping a lot to work on these other essays while I wait to hear from CLS. I've been really lucky in my academic journey so far to have a lot of these things--great advisors, mentors, professors, friends. Honestly, I think it was just an unfortunate week with timing and the weather. My second semester of my Ph.D. was supposed to start on Tuesday, but with snow and ice and no infrastructure to deal with it, my university cancelled the first two days of classes which left me with even more break-time to obsess, instead of distract myself with work like I normally would. 

  

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