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Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program Administered by the Rhode Island Foundation $200K awarded annually Provides awards of $1K to $25K to.

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Presentation on theme: "Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program Administered by the Rhode Island Foundation $200K awarded annually Provides awards of $1K to $25K to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program Administered by the Rhode Island Foundation $200K awarded annually Provides awards of $1K to $25K to support foreign language study

2 Eligibility Any RI Resident -OR- a student at a Rhode Island college or university Unstated: Have a passion for developing fluency in another language (commitment, dedication) Preference will be given to applicants from URI!

3 Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program 2011 Competition 164 applications 19 Fellows selected ($187K) All 2011 fellows have a URI affiliation

4 Selection Criteria Dedication to foreign language learning Likelihood that the proposed program of study will promote a high level of foreign language fluency A diversity of languages studied, program types, and individuals receiving fellowship Preference will be given to applicants from the University of Rhode Island who meet these criteria.

5 Components of the Application Online Form Transcripts Two 250-word essays Two letters of recommendation Program budget Letter of acceptance (if available)

6 TIPS: Letters of Recommendation Include at least one letter-writer from languages Select faculty who know you well! Set up a meeting, bring resume, transcript, details regarding program, bulleted list of reminders They should be able to stress your passion for foreign languages Discuss your track-record and your talent as a student of languages How it is likely to be maintained/useful in your future career

7 TIPS: Essay One Please tell us about yourself. Why do you wish to become fluent in another language? What experiences have you had that prepare you for foreign language study, including your academic background? (250 word limit) Express your DEDICATION and PASSION for the language: WHY do you want to do this? WHAT have you done to prepare? Language Coursework? How many years total? Have you excelled? What level have you achieved this far? Have you taken related coursework on the region? Have you already been abroad? Personal connection?

8 Megan Banner I’m a pre-med Microbiology student with minors in Spanish and chemistry at URI. I recently spent five months studying microbiology in South Africa, and I am applying for the Demers Fellowship for an opportunity to return to the country to learn Xhosa, spoken by a fifth of South Africa’s population. My ultimate career goal is to become a medical doctor and work for the US African Development Foundation on the improvement of health care and control of infectious disease in African countries. In SA, I became familiar with some of the immense health burden the country faces, and realized that native-language fluency is crucial to alleviation of that burden. The needs of African communities are so varied and so specific, and help must come from someone with both educational and monetary resources, a deep understanding of the culture they’re working within, and the ability to communicate effectively. Currently, up to two-thirds of Xhosa-speakers in SA suffer from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria, and control measures implemented by Western, English speaking aid workers have been hindered by long-standing Xhosa cultural beliefs and language barriers. I wish to become fluent in Xhosa to one day work within the Xhosa community to establish successful, sustainable health systems that the people they serve can understand, relate to, and utilize properly. I also hope this experience will serve as a springboard for me to become a fluent speaker of other African languages, a difficult-to-find but increasingly essential skill for US global development workers.

9 TIPS: Essay Two Please tell us about your proposed program of study. What do you plan to do? Where and when will this experience take place? What are you doing to prepare? How do you expect this experience to further your long-range goals? Please be specific. (250 word limit) 1)Describe WHEN and WHERE the program is. WHO is the program sponsor? Is this part of your academic plan (IEP, IBP, Flagship)? WHAT kind of coursework will you engage in? (emphasis on the language component) 2)WHAT ELSE about the program will help you to achieve greater fluency? Host Stay? Intermingled with native speakers? Internship? 3)HOW are you preparing for this? 4) HOW will knowing this language impact your future goals? WILL you be able to maintain the proficiency you gain?

10 Megan Banner My program is the Department of African Languages Xhosa Program for non- mother tongue speakers at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. I have already taken 2 introductory Xhosa classes, and have since been studying the course material I received. However, Xhosa is primarily a spoken language, not written, and as such I feel that attaining fluency is impossible without returning to a language and culture immersion setting within South Africa. I would be enrolled for one academic year (two semesters), January to November 2012. It consists of four classes per semester, addressing all formal aspects of language acquisition, with a heavy emphasis on verbal practice. In addition, I would be a part of a new accelerated immersion program titled “Speak-Easy Xhosa”, designed for students to hone their skills in a short time frame. This academic program will be supplemented by frequent, informal practice in the Xhosa-speaking communities surrounding the school. I have arranged to work with two people on my language development throughout the year; a professor of Xhosa, and a local native speaker. I have been practicing as much as possible from my old course materials, and began to prepare for returning by starting early with the online component of the Speak-Easy program. I hope for my newly acquired language skills and my career goals will have a mutually beneficial and sustaining affect on each other after I return, as I plan

11 TIPS: Budget Tuition/fees, housing, other living expenses, travel, “other” (specify below) Don’t low-ball, but be reasonable. Contact the study abroad program to determine costs. (if applicable) Don’t forget: (if not included in program budget) Visa application Required vaccinations Supplemental Overseas Insurance

12 TIPS: Letter of Acceptance Don’t fret, it’s not required. You scan and upload directly. If possible, garner a letter from the program regarding the likelihood of your acceptance. Highlight language-learning opportunities Make sure it is in synch with your own description

13 More TIPS Open an application account online now. –Only enter names of recommenders once confirmed. Transcripts –Order now via e-Campus, but check “once grades are reported” –Unofficial copy from e-Campus is also acceptable –Select content/frames, print to PDF or print then scan –Other transcripts? Order now!!

14 Recap 1.Identify a program 2.Ask Recommenders Resume help?  “resources” 3.Order Transcripts 4.Open Application 5.Draft Essays 6.Finalize Budget 7.Apply to study abroad program 8.Request acceptance confirmation

15 Other Opportunities: NOW Boren Awards DAAD Freeman-ASIA Gilman Petters Phi Eta Sigma Phi Kappa Phi Whitaker … Metcalf

16 Other Opportunities: Later Critical Languages Scholarship Boren Awards DAAD Rotary Fulbright Whitaker

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