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KNOXVILLE—Andrew Eichel, a graduate student in medieval literature and critical theory at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been awarded a US Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Turkish during the summer of 2011 in Turkey.

Eichel, originally from Neoga, Illinois, is among approximately 575 US undergraduate and graduate students who received CLS scholarships. Collectively, the recipients will be studying Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu languages. The students will spend seven to ten weeks in intensive language institutes in fourteen different countries.

The CLS Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

The 2011 CLS Program received more than 5,200 applications from students hailing from all fifty states and representing a range of academic disciplines. A merit-based selection process was used.

CLS Program participants are among more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. The CLS Program is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and American Councils for International Education.

For more information about the CLS Program or other exchange programs offered by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit and


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,