Kevin Han, a fourth year pharmacy student at the University of Findlay, has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Japanese abroad in Japan during the summer of 2016.
He is one of the approximately 600 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students across the country selected to receive the 2016 Critical Language Scholarship. CLS recipients will spend roughly two months in intensive language institutes over the summer in one of 13 countries to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu. Kevin will be studying in a Japanese language institute.
American and Japanese pharmaceutical companies are at the forefront when it comes to developing new drugs. Unfortunately, there is a severe shortage of translators with the proper pharmaceutical background to break down the language barrier, which hinders cooperation and sharing of critical research findings. Kevin plans to combine his pharmacy background and Japanese language skills to try to mitigate this incredibly frustrating language barrier.
“By breaking down the language barrier and improving cooperation between American and Japanese pharmaceutical companies, I believe that we are actually not that far from developing drugs that can cure late-stage cancer and even HIV,” Kevin said.
When asked about being selected to receive this scholarship, Kevin credits the University of Findlay and his parents.
“The professors here at the University of Findlay genuinely care about their students,” he said. “With the help from professors like Hiroaki Kawamura and Michael Milks, I somehow managed to get selected for CLS.”
Kevin had the opportunity to study abroad in Okayama, Japan in the summer of 2015. This was possible due to the ongoing relationship between the University of Findlay and Kibi International University.
Says Kevin, “I am extremely thankful to Kibi International University’s generosity and support. Having the experience of studying abroad last summer at Kibi International University definitely strengthened my CLS application.”
“Also, the international students here at the University of Findlay are just as supportive and caring as the professors,” Kevin said. “I am especially thankful to my Japanese conversation partners, including Mana Hatori and Miyuki Takahashi. They always encourage me in my endeavor to become fluent in Japanese.”
Last but not least, Kevin credits his parents for his current success as a CLS recipient.
“When my parents immigrated to the US from South Korea, they faced many difficulties, such as racism and financial problems. However, through hard work and determination, they were able to overcome these difficulties,” Kevin said. “My parents are the main source of my motivation.”
The CLS is a fully funded summer scholarship program, so CLS recipients do not have to pay anything out of their own pockets. Applicable visa fees, room, board, airfare, and all other related costs are covered by the CLS program. With an acceptance rate of about 10 percent, the CLS is one of the most competitive and prestigious scholarships for US citizens.
For more details and information about the CLS program, visit www.clscholarship.org.
Furthermore, Kevin has offered to support future CLS applicants by sharing important advice on how to approach and write the commonly asked essay questions in the CLS application. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Kevin strongly recommends learning a foreign language. “There are countless advantages of being able to speak a foreign language,” he said. “Simply put, the more languages you know, the easier it is to make meaningful personal relationships and business connections with people all over the globe.”