Beatrice S. Demers Foreign Language Fellows Program
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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 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