Khalil LeSaldo '11 Awarded State Department Scholarship

Story posted May 07, 2010

Khalil LeSaldo '11 has been selected for a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Arabic during the summer of 2010.

LeSaldo will spend eight weeks in Alexandria, Egypt, at the Alexandria Centre for Languages, participating in a fully funded language-intensive program.

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Khalil LeSaldo '11 (left) and Sam Duchin '10 face off in Bertolt Brecht's expressionist comedy Drums in the Night in October 2009.

"I expect to gain invaluable experience from the cultural exposure and contact with native speakers," says LeSaldo.

"I'm particularly interested in film and theater, and since Egypt is a cultural center for the rest of the Middle East, I hope to gain valuable skills and exposure in the hopes of someday returning to build bridges through the arts, potentially funded by fellowship."

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Khalil LeSaldo '11

A psychology major from Fort Kent, Maine, LeSaldo has been involved with more than 15 theater productions since coming to Bowdoin, more than half of them in primary roles.

He most recently appeared in the lead role in Masque and Gown's February 2010 production of Jean Cocteau's Orphée. He also starred in Attempts on Her Life and Drums in the Night, both in 2009.

The U.S. Department of State has selected approximately 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to study Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Persian, and Russian and Indic (Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) and Turkic (Turkish and Azerbaijani) languages.

The 2010 CLS Program received nearly 5,300 applications. Students from a range of academic disciplines and U.S. colleges and universities from all 50 states were selected for scholarships in 2010 through a merit-based selection process.

The Department of State's Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas and is part of a wider U.S. government effort to dramatically expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages.

CLS participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The CLS program is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and the American Councils for International Education.

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