Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program

Report
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
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!
Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program
2011 Competition
164 applications
19 Fellows selected ($187K)
All 2011 fellows have a URI affiliation
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.
Components of the Application
• Online Form
• Transcripts
• Two 250-word essays
• Two letters of recommendation
• Program budget
• Letter of acceptance (if available)
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
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?
Megan Banner
I’m a pre-med Microbiology student with minors in Spanish and chemistry at URI. I
recently
spentMicrobiology
five months student
studying
microbiology
in South
Africa,
and Iatam
applying
I’m
a pre-med
with
minors in Spanish
and
chemistry
URI.
I
recently
spent five
months studying
microbiologytoinreturn
Southto
Africa,
and I am
for the Demers
Fellowship
for an opportunity
the country
to applying
learn for
the
Demers
Fellowship
forof
anSouth
opportunity
to population.
return to theMy
country
to learn
Xhosa,
Xhosa,
spoken
by a fifth
Africa’s
ultimate
career
goal is to
spoken
fifth of South
population.
My African
ultimateDevelopment
career goal is Foundation
to become aon
becomebya amedical
doctorAfrica’s
and work
for the US
medical
doctor andofwork
for care
the US
African
Development
Foundation
the
the improvement
health
and
control
of infectious
disease inonAfrican
improvement
of health
care and
control
of some
infectious
disease
in African
In SA,
countries. In SA,
I became
familiar
with
of the
immense
healthcountries.
burden the
Icountry
becamefaces,
familiar
with
some of
thenative-language
immense health fluency
burden the
countrytofaces,
and of
and
realized
that
is crucial
alleviation
realized
that native-language
fluencycommunities
is crucial to alleviation
of that
burden.
The needs
that burden.
The needs of African
are so varied
and
so specific,
and
of
African
communities
are
so
varied
and
so
specific,
and
help
must
come
from
help must come from someone with both educational and monetary resources, a
someone
with both educational
and they’re
monetary
resources,
a deep
understanding
of the
deep
understanding
of
the
culture
working
within,
and
the
ability
to
culture they’re working within, and the ability to communicate effectively. Currently, up
communicate
Currently,
to two-thirds
of Xhosa-speakers
SA suffer
to two-thirds ofeffectively.
Xhosa-speakers
in SAup
suffer
from HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis, orinmalaria,
from
HIV/AIDS,
tuberculosis,
or malaria,
and control
implemented
by
and control
measures
implemented
by Western,
Englishmeasures
speaking aid
workers have
Western,
English
speaking aid Xhosa
workers
have beliefs
been hindered
by long-standing
been hindered
by long-standing
cultural
and language
barriers. I wish to
Xhosa
cultural
beliefs
and
language
barriers.
I
wish
to
become
fluent
in Xhosa to
become fluent in Xhosa to one day work within the Xhosa community to establish
one
day work
within thehealth
Xhosa
community
to people
establish
successful,
successful,
sustainable
systems
that the
they
serve can sustainable
understand,
health
systems
that
the
people
they
serve
can
understand,
relate
to,
and utilize for
relate to, and utilize properly. I also hope this experience will serve as a springboard
properly.
I alsoahope
experience
servelanguages,
as a springboard
for me to
me to become
fluentthis
speaker
of otherwill
African
a difficult-to-find
butbecome
a fluent speaker
of other
languages,
a difficult-to-find
increasingly
essential
skill African
for US global
development
workers. but increasingly
essential skill for US global development workers.
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?
Megan Banner
My
Department
of African
Languages
Xhosa Xhosa
Program
for non-mother
My program
programisisthe
the
Department
of African
Languages
Program
for nontongue
at the Nelson
Mandela
Metropolitan
in Port
Elizabeth,inSouth
motherspeakers
tongue speakers
at the
Nelson
Mandela University
Metropolitan
University
Port
Africa.
I have
already
takenI 2have
introductory
and haveXhosa
since been
studying
Elizabeth,
South
Africa.
alreadyXhosa
takenclasses,
2 introductory
classes,
and
the course material I received. However, Xhosa is primarily a spoken language, not written,
have since been studying the course material I received. However, Xhosa is
and as such I feel that attaining fluency is impossible without returning to a language and
primarily
a spoken
language,
not written,
asbesuch
I feelforthat
culture immersion
setting
within South
Africa. I and
would
enrolled
oneattaining
academicfluency
year
is
impossible
without
returning
to a 2012.
language
and culture
immersion
setting
(two
semesters),
January
to November
It consists
of four classes
per semester,
within
South
I wouldofbe
enrolled
for one academic
year
(two semesters),
addressing
all Africa.
formal aspects
language
acquisition,
with a heavy
emphasis
on verbal
January
toaddition,
November
2012.
consists
of four
classesimmersion
per semester,
addressing
practice. In
I would
be aIt part
of a new
accelerated
program
titled
“Speak-Easy
Xhosa”,ofdesigned
for acquisition,
students to hone
skills emphasis
in a short time
all formal aspects
language
withtheir
a heavy
on frame.
verbalThis
academic
will be
supplemented
informal practice
in the Xhosapractice. program
In addition,
I would
be a partbyoffrequent,
a new accelerated
immersion
program
speaking
communitiesXhosa”,
surrounding
the school.
I have arranged
workskills
with two
titled “Speak-Easy
designed
for students
to honetotheir
in apeople
short on
my language development throughout the year; a professor of Xhosa, and a local native
time frame. This academic program will be supplemented by frequent, informal
speaker. I have been practicing as much as possible from my old course materials, and
practice
in the Xhosa-speaking
communities
the school.
I have
began to prepare
for returning by starting
early withsurrounding
the online component
of the
Speakarranged
to work
with
people
on mylanguage
languageskills
development
throughout
Easy program.
I hope
for two
my newly
acquired
and my career
goals will the
have
year;
a professor
Xhosa,
and a
localonnative
speaker.
have been
practicing
as
a mutually
beneficialofand
sustaining
affect
each other
after II return,
as I plan
on
much
asapossible
my
old course starting
materials,
began to prepare
for Africa.
pursuing
career in from
African
development,
withand
Xhosa-communities
in South
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
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
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
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!!
Recap
1. Identify a program
•
•
•
uri.edu/international
studyabroad.com
iiepassport.org
2. Ask Recommenders
•
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Resume help? career.uri.edu  “resources”
Order Transcripts
Open Application
Draft Essays
Finalize Budget
Apply to study abroad program
Request acceptance confirmation
Other Opportunities: NOW
• Boren Awards
• DAAD
• Freeman-ASIA
• Gilman
• Petters
• Phi Eta Sigma
• Phi Kappa Phi
• Whitaker
…
• Metcalf
Other Opportunities: Later
•
•
•
•
•
•
Critical Languages Scholarship
Boren Awards
DAAD
Rotary
Fulbright
Whitaker

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