September 3, 2019
On Wednesday, August 7, closing ceremony of the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) summer program took place at AUCA. Students of the program prepared vivid performances for their host families, teachers, and guests.
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government. It is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. CLS Program is implemented in Bishkek with the partnership of AUCA. In 2019 AUCA hosted 15 CLS students who also had the opportunity to learn some basic Kyrgyz in addition to Russian. Additionally, CLS students in Bishkek immersed themselves in Kyrgyz culture through cultural enrichment excursions and interactions with language partners and host family members.
US Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Donald Lu opened the event with a personal story of how he learned Russian language and thanked program faculty and coordinators. Sung In Marshall Country Director at the American Councils also shared a personal story in fluent Russian and congratulated students with the successful completion of the program.
Devon Rancourtimpressed the guests with her play on komuz. The Muras song performed by Alaina DeLeo caused a storm of applause from the guests. Students Jack Schroder, Katherine Malus, and Anastasia Heaton prepared a short play.
The incredible performance by Gabriela Rosa Hernandez made all the guests dance. Further, student Chris Garrity made everyone laugh at a poem composed by himself. Nikki Ray with her language partner Ansar Kubanychbek showed the Kyrgyz national dance Kara Jorgo. The same dance was performed by Alaina DeLeo, Kira Chamberlain, Alexa Tignall, Anya Slepyan, Lauren Ailslieger, Katherine Malus later which lit up the audience. Anastasia Heaton sang a very beautiful song. The concert was short-lived but full of various emotions such as joy, happiness and a little sadness about the upcoming leave of the CLS students.
Students of the program addressed a couple of words to their teachers: “We will remember every moment of the program. Our teachers always wished the best for us and we appreciate it so much. Thank you for being part of a great summer”.