Lawrence University’s Meghan Hickey has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Russian this summer at the Kazan Institute of Social Sciences and Humanities in Kazan, Russia.

Meghan Hickey '12

A junior from Naperville, Ill., majoring in Russian Studies and French Studies, Hickey was among 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students awarded one of the state department’s critical language scholarships. She was selected from among more than 5,200 applications.

Beginning June 5, Hickey will spend eight weeks living with a host family in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. The program features four hours a day of personalized, intensive language study as well as literature and political science courses and various cultural activities. The scholarship covers all expenses during the eight-week-long program and includes a $1,400 stipend.

Hickey, who first began studying Russian as a Lawrence sophomore, said she speaks the language “well enough to get into the CLS program, but not well enough to not be a little nervous, too.”

“I’m very excited about spending a summer in Russia,” she added.  “I know I’ll be challenged, but I can’t wait to get there.”

She sees the CLS program as an important step toward her career goals of working for the United Nations or becoming a professional translator.

The CLS program was launched in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas and expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical-need languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian Japanese, Korean, Persian, Russian, Indic (Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) and Turkic (Turkish and Azerbaijani).