Political Science Major Will Ride Scholarship To Turkey

It’s a long way from a small Colorado mountain town to Ankara, Turkey, but Samuel Frykholm ’24 is confident about that journey. The political science major will spend summer 2022 studying the Turkish language through the Critical Languages Scholarship, which will fully fund his time there.

Growing up in Leadville, Colorado, Frykholm dreamed of attending Colorado College; he was drawn to the opportunities, education, and community here. And then he received a Boettcher Scholarship, which awards $20,000 per year for four years, with CC using various sources to pay recipients’ total tuition and fees.

“It was just such a dream combination,” Frykholm says.

The CLS application was unique, he says, because of its emphasis on students justifying their language choice. The program is part of the U.S. government’s effort to assist students to master foreign languages and act as citizen ambassadors to other countries.

Students spend eight to 10 weeks in the host country. The CLS program doesn’t require previous study in Turkish, among a few other languages.

Frykholm spent summer 2021 working in the Republic of Georgia for a small non-governmental organization that was integrating Azeri, Armenian, and Meskhetian Turk migrants into Georgian society. He formed friendships with many of the people there and wants to work with them again, and learning a Turkic language would smooth his way.

“In a geographic sense, Turkish compliments my Russian language skills particularly well. With the two, so much of the world opens up,” he says.

This will be Frykholm’s first time in Turkey, where he’ll study at Tomer University in Ankara and, most likely, live in one of the university’s dormitories. The program is intense and he expects to spend about eight hours on classes and work every day.

CLS students participate in extracurricular activities that are created to augment the formal curriculum and expand their understanding of the host country’s daily life, history, politics, and culture. They’ll also meet regularly with native speakers to practice their conversational skills one-on-one.

Frykholm knows this experience will complement his political science studies, which he hopes to continue in graduate school. The details about his post-CC life are up in the air, but he knows the CLS experience will greatly benefit his life and career.

“Turkey is placed in such a diverse and important political space, so understanding it at a deeper level should open up so many more doors to me,” he says.

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