Tori Hester ’20 Awarded Critical Language Scholarship to Study in China Hester will participate in an intensive eight-week Chinese language course at Shaanxi Normal University.
Tori Hester ’20, a junior chemistry and East Asian language and literature double major at Washington and Lee University, has received a Critical Language Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study in China this summer. There, Hester will participate in an intensive eight-week Chinese language course at Shaanxi Normal University.
“I had to read the email twice to make sure I wasn’t dreaming,” said Hester on learning she was accepted to the program. “I was in the library at the time, and I remember crying and doing a happy dance that got lots of strange looks. I then called my mom to share the good news.”
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully funded summer overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students. The goals of the highly selective program are to broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and to build relationships between citizens of the U.S. and other countries.
“Tori is an outstanding student,” said Hongchu Fu, professor of Chinese language and literature and Hester’s adviser. “Without any background, she started taking Chinese from her first year here and has been making steady progress since. She is serious and hardworking and deserves the CLS scholarship, which will take her to another level of proficiency in Chinese language and Chinese culture.”
Hester said, “I’m looking forward to making new friends from different backgrounds and cultures. I’m excited to have the opportunity to have an immersive language and cultural experience where I can focus on improving my Chinese and learning about the culture of my host country. Lastly, I can’t wait to try authentic Chinese cuisine.”