Honors Student Chloe Holm Named Alternate for Critical Language Scholarship
Chloe Holm, a sophomore at Kent State from Stow, Ohio, was initially intimidated by the intensity of the Critical Language Scholarship when she first learned about the program when Frank Congin visited her First-Year Experience class to discuss study abroad opportunities. However, Chloe said that what made this program so intimidating—it sounded like “a boot camp for language,” she says—was also what intrigued her the most about it. She applied and was named an alternate for the Critical Language Scholarship to Japan for the summer 2019.
Chloe has long had a love for Japan and for Japanese culture, and she says that participating in this program would certainly increase her cultural awareness and “jump-start” opportunities with global education. She is an English major with a Japanese minor, and one of the career possibilities toward which she is working is to be an editor who works with Japanese authors. She believes her future English degree combined with her competency in Japanese will enable her to work with a wider range of editors, authors, and other industry personnel. As of now, Chloe is more focused on the literary and editorial possibilities that will result from her study of English and Japanese, but she is interested in teaching as well. She thinks that having the opportunity to participate in the Critical Language Scholarship Program would encourage her to more seriously consider teaching as a possibility for the future.
Chloe is no stranger to traveling abroad: she participated in the Honors Freshmen in Florence Program, spending her first semester of her undergraduate studies in Italy, and spent six weeks in Japan during the summer after her junior year of high school as a part of Youth for Understanding, a cultural exchange program during which she lived with a host family. The latter program, however, focused more on cultural immersion than on the Japanese language, and Chloe is excited about the prospect of taking part in a program of which intensive language learning is a crucial component. According to Chloe, “immersion is one of the hardest things to get out of a college language class, and this program is fully immersive for two months in the summer, really intensive study, and that seemed like the perfect way to get those speaking and listening skills that you don’t necessarily get in the classroom.”
Chloe says that Frank Congin of the Honors College helped her by encouraging her to apply for the Critical Language Scholarship. She met with him on an individual basis twice: the first time, they discussed her ideas for the application and how to organize her approach to it, and then they met two weeks later, a week before the application was due, to review the materials and ensure that she had enough to edit her submission. Chloe says that completing the application taught her a lot about the importance of time management. She says that she also discovered that her passion for Japanese increased the more she thought and wrote about it for the application. It gave her new ideas about how to incorporate English, which she also loves, into her passion for Japanese. The application also encouraged her to think about her previous study abroad experiences from a new perspective, as some of the questions asks how the applicant responds and adapts to new situations, which is a mindset she had not previously considered regarding her previous experiences abroad.
Chloe urges all students who are interested to apply, because completing the application has value even for students who are not selected; she says that the essay prompts, which allow only three hundred words, provide good practice responding to questions in a substantial yet concise manner. She advises potential applicants to manage their time well and think about how they can use their language skills to benefit themselves and their futures.