One of our students, Melanie Rohla, was recently awarded the 2018 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Swahili this summer. Melanie Rohla, a junior studying Environmental Science and Global Studies, will take intensive Swahili courses in Arusha, Tanzania for 8 weeks. Melanie sees this as a great opportunity for her to improve her proficiency in the language that she started learning in Spring 2018. “I hope to live in East Africa so knowledge of Swahili would be extremely useful. Through this CLS experience, I hope to become conversational in Swahili while also experiencing more of Tanzanian culture," she said. 

Melanie studied abroad in Kenya in spring 2018 through a University of Minnesota program, which partners with UIUC to send students to the country for a semester. While in Kenya, Melanie took Swahili classes for 7 weeks and then had a 6-week internship which involved testing water quality. 

The CLS Program runs every summer and is open to American students at colleges and universities. To learn more about the program, visit