Two Global Studies Majors Awarded Prestigious Critical Language Scholarship

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by Emira Ibrahimpasic Sat, 06/03/2017 - 11:05

Two Global Studies majors, Tristan Hilderbrand and Miranda Kuzela, have been awarded the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS). 

CLS, a program of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. CLS scholars gain critical language and cultural skills that enable them to contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. 

CLS provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to spend eight to ten weeks overseas studying one of 14 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers (excerpt taken from CLS website).

Tristan Hilderbrand is heading to Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan for 2 months (May 31-July 29, 2017).  While in Hikone, Tristan will intensively study the Japanese language around 20 hours each week. Half of her time in Hikone will be spent living with a local Japanese host family.

Tristan is a Global Studies major with minors in National Security Studies, Japanese, and East Asian Studies. Currently, she is the president of the UNL Hip Hop Dance Club, and writer/contributor for Culture Collective fashion magazine (previously known as This Season).  Tristan's post-graduation plans include continuing to studying East Asian languages, attend graduate school, and apply her knowledge to contribute to US national security.

Miranda Kuzela is going to Vladimir, Russia from June 18th to August 19th where she will be taking 20 credit hours of language classes a week. In addition, she will have an opportunity to attend cultural excursions to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and Yaroslavl. While in Russia, Miranda will be living with a host family and will have a language partner for additional linguistic and cultural immersion. 

Miranda is majoring in Global Studies, Russian, Spanish, and Political Science with minors in National Security Studies, and Human Rights.  At UNL Miranda is a member of Russian Club and Chi Omega. She also works at the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature as a Legislative Page, and she volunteers for an Omaha mayoral candidate and some Lincoln City Council candidates.  When she returns from Russia she plans to start volunteering with Lincoln Literacy. Miranda's future plans include a career as an interpreter/translator in a government agency or serving as a foreign service officer.

For further information about the Critical Language Scholarship or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please contact and visit their websites at and