Baku Bound: Appalachian Student Awarded Critical Language Scholarship from U.S. Department of State

The Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships is pleased to announce that Caroline Sager, a recent graduate at Appalachian State University has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS).

Sager is among 555 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students selected from over 200 different institutions to be awarded CLS in 2019. In June, she will depart for Baku, Azerbaijan to learn Turkish through intensive language study in an immersive environment. The eight-week program covers approximately one academic year of university-level Turkish and is enhanced through homestays and cultural excursions across Azerbaijan.

“As Turkish is not the dominant language in Azerbaijan, this particular program will challenge me to thrive in a multilingual environment, and expose me to a part of the world I have limited cultural knowledge of. I look forward to learning about the culture and language from locals, and I hope to ultimately use these linguistic and cultural skills to pursue political research interests in Cyprus and Turkey, explore a career in humanitarian aid, or represent the U.S. abroad as a foreign service officer,” Sager said.

There are 15 critical languages offered by the CLS Program. While most do not require applicants to have any prior experience studying critical languages, demonstrating a commitment to language learning, with plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits is key.

Sager described the CLS application process as challenging but reflected that “what helped me build a strong application was building a case for why it was key to my professional pursuits to go on this particular [CLS] program.”

For more information about CLS and how to apply, contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships at and/or visit

For more information about the Critical Language Scholarship, visit:

About Nationally Competitive Scholarships - Nationally Competitive Scholarships (NCS) works with the Appalachian community to recruit and support students for nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, including those that support research, teaching and critical language learning. This is achieved with outreach, mentorship and advising throughout the entire application and selection process. NCS is committed to helping undergraduate and graduate students find ways to connect their Appalachian education to their future endeavors through scholarship opportunities. Learn more at

About the Department of Languages, Literatures & Cultures - The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at

About the Department of Government and Justice Studies - Appalachian State University’s Department of Government and Justice Studies offers undergraduate programs in political science and criminal justice, and graduate programs in political science and public administration. Housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the department has over 600 undergraduate majors and more than 70 graduate students. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences - The College of Arts and Sciences is home to 16 academic departments, one stand-alone academic program, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The College of Arts and Sciences aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. There are approximately 6,100 student majors in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing Appalachian's general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at

About Appalachian State University - As the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Caroline Sager
Published: May 20, 2019 2:27pm