Mizzou Student to Study Arabic in Tunisia

By Melissa Coon | Published on May 24, 2012

MU student Sammie Hill, who just completed her junior year, has been awarded the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), which will allow her to study Arabic in Tunis, Tunisia for two months this summer.

The program, which is part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), offers intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign language of Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish and Urdu.

“I applied for the Critical Language Scholarship thinking it highly unlikely that I would be selected,” Hill said. “I am still wrapping my mind around the idea that I am headed abroad and have the opportunity to continue studying Arabic.”

Hill is a native of O’Fallon, Mo., where she graduated from Fort Zumwalt North High School in 2010. Currently, she is majoring in journalism and international peace studies at Mizzou.

“This will be my first visit to the Maghrib region and I hope that many more will follow,” she said. “I plan to continue to pursue Middle Eastern studies and eventually work in journalism, research or diplomacy. The CLS program is my first big step toward those goals.”

CLS institutes provide fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for U.S. students.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.