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Whitworth University Student Selected for U.S. Department of State's Critical Language Scholarship Program

August 10, 2023

Whitworth University is pleased to announce that Connor Wodehouse ’24 was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program and has been spending the summer in Tanzania studying Swahili. 

Wodehouse is majoring in international studies with a political science emphasis. He is among 500 students at U.S. colleges and universities who received a CLS award this year. 

“This highly competitive scholarship serves as a fully funded opportunity to study languages of interest in their respective regions around the world,” Wodehouse says. “What better way to learn Swahili than in the heart of the Arusha region with some of the most renowned teachers in the country? Between weekly Swahili classes, local language partners, cultural excursions and independent adventures, I live most of my days here in Swahili. I am incredibly grateful for the chance to continue studying Swahili, which started because of Whitworth’s Tanzania program!” 

Whitworth’s Tanzania Study Program is a semester-long study abroad program led by faculty members that includes the study of Swahili. 

The Critical Language Scholarship Program is part of a U.S. government effort to increase the number of Americans studying critical foreign languages. The CLS Program provides opportunities to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to spend eight to 10 weeks studying one of 14 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish or Urdu. The program includes intensive language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences to promote rapid language gains. 

CLS scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers. CLS scholars represent a broad diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Recipients of the 2023 CLS awards come from all 50 U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico, and include students from over 200 institutions of higher education, including public and private universities, community colleges, liberal arts colleges, military academies, and minority-serving institutions. 

For more information about the CLS Program or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, click here.  

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or