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$10M grant funds Ohio State students’ studies in East Asia

Funding for Ohio State students wanting to study in East Asia got a boost after the university received a $10 million grant.
According to an OSU news release, the United States Department of State will provide OSU more than $3.2 million each year over the next three years to implement the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in East Asia.
According to the CLS website, the program offers fully funded summer language instruction for U.S. university students.
“As far as students are concerned, this is as close to a full ride as I have ever seen,” said Galal Walker, professor in the OSU Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures.
“My hope is that our students have an idea about the competition and are looking for opportunities, and this is an opportunity,” Walker said. “This is like the United States government investing in these students.”
Walker, along with the OSU Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures professor and chair Mari Noda, are members of the team that put together the request for proposal of the grant to the U.S. Department of State in May.
Walker said getting the award was a team effort.
“This is very competitive, so it’s a good, solid recognition of all the work people do here in East Asian languages,” Walker said. “It’s pretty nice to have everybody’s work recognized in a competition basically.”   
Noda agreed, and said there is even more work to be done since they received the grant.
“We worked hard to get the project proposal done and submitted, and then once you get it, the real work really begins,” Noda said. “Putting the proposal together requires very hard work from a number of people.”
OSU is the only university in the U.S. to receive the award, according to the release. However, Walker and Noda said they are unsure of how many universities applied.
The grant will provide tuition, travel costs and daily living expenses for students for the eight-week summer program, which is available for U.S. citizens only.
“I’m both excited and pleased for the opportunity, and I think this is really going to make a difference,” Noda said.
Michael Porter, a graduate student in East Asian Languages and Literature, said it would be nice to receive the CLS, although it is competitive.
“It would be very beneficial,” Porter said. “There are a few other options, but from what I’ve heard, it’s one of the better scholarships.”  
The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, in cooperation with the National East Asian Languages Resource Center at OSU, will establish intensive language institutes at seven universities in four countries.
OSU professor Xiao-bin Jian will supervise the four universities in China: Ocean University, Sichuan University, Xiamen University and Suzhou University. Noda will supervise the Japanese university Himeji Dokkyo.
OSU associate professor Danielle Ooyoung Pyun will lead the Korean university Yonsei Wonju, and the Indonesian university, Negeri Makassar, will be led by Christine Su of Ohio University.
U.S. students can apply for the 2013 CLS Program through its website.

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