Two students in the Dual BA Program Between Columbia University and Sciences Po were recently awarded prestigious scholarships: Eric Jiefei Deng ‘20 received the Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) and Isabel O’Brien ‘21 received Henri de Castries Scholarship.
Eric Jiefei Deng, a rising junior in the Middle East and Mediterranean program at the Menton Campus, is majoring in Political Science with a specialization in the Middle East from Sciences Po and is hoping to major in History with a concentration in Linguistics when he arrives at Columbia this fall. “I am incredibly grateful for the Critical Languages Scholarship as it has given me the opportunity to raise my Turkish skills nearer to my Arabic and French levels and help me catch up. The scholarship will also allow me to use my future Turkish classes at Columbia to help out with my linguistics concentration,” he said.
The CLS Program, part of the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. college and universities. This summer, Deng will study Turkish in Baku, Azerbaijan at the Azerbaijan Languages University while living with a host family.
“While on the Critical Languages Scholarship I wish to expand my abilities in the Turkish language, especially speaking-wise, in addition to helping me continue on the path to hopefully becoming proficient in such an important and interesting language,” said Deng.
A Politics and Government major studying at the Reims campus, Isabel O’Brien was recently awarded the Henri de Castries Scholarship. Named for Chairman and CEO of AXA Group, this scholarship builds on Henri de Castries’ and AXA’s longstanding commitment to promoting and strengthening cultural connections between the American and French people by providing students with opportunities to gain international perspectives and multicultural learning experiences.
Of her experience in the Dual BA Program so far, O’Brien said, “It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to participate in the Dual BA program. This past year at Sciences Po has changed my life in more ways than one. I’ve met amazing people from all over the world, travelled to several new countries, and begun to learn about global issues from a non-American perspective.” This coming summer, she’ll be working in her Senator’s local office and is “looking forward to comparing the differences I notice between the functioning of everyday political fields in Europe and the U.S.”