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Scholarship lands BGSU student in Taiwan to study language

+BGSU+senior+Emma+Crusey+will+spend+most+of+her+summer+in+Taiwan+after+receiving+a+scholarship+from+the+U.S.+Department+of+State+to+study+Chinese.
BGSU
BGSU senior Emma Crusey will spend most of her summer in Taiwan after receiving a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State to study Chinese.

BGSU senior Emma Crusey will spend most of her summer in New Taipei, Taiwan, continuing her Chinese language studies after receiving a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State.

Crusey was one of about 500 students selected from about 5,000 applicants. She’s the third BG student to be awarded the scholarship, the first since 2008 and the first to study Chinese. CLS scholars spend eight to 10 weeks learning one of 13 languages at an intensive study abroad institute.

In fifth grade, Crusey became friends with Amy Wang, whose parents immigrated to America and opened a Chinese restaurant in Crusey’s hometown of Richwood, Ohio.

Crusey spent a lot of time at the Wang home and shared many meals with the family. Since Amy’s parents didn’t speak English, Amy would play translator when Crusey wanted to communicate with her parents.

So Crusey began learning Mandarin on her own with immediate feedback provided by the Wangs as she practiced.

“It was really fun to learn,” Crusey said. “I think it motivated me to keep learning because I had a lot of people to practice with.”

Crusey, a computer science major with minors in Chinese and Spanish, said embracing failure allows languages to come more easily.

“I think the reason I’m good at them is because I’m curious and I’m not scared to mess up,” Crusey said. “If you’re afraid to mess up and never want to talk to anybody, you’ll never learn it.”

Crusey said she’s never been out of the country.

“I’m most excited about living in a city,” Crusey said. “My hometown has two stoplights and three restaurants.”

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