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2020 graduate receives Chinese language Critical Language Scholarship

Lindsey Hinczynski, ’20
Lindsey Hinczynski, ’20, was awarded a Chinese language Critical Language Scholarship, (CLS), a U.S. Department of State’s scholarship program in which the government invests money into teaching Americans languages that are critical to developing modern international relations and business.

“It is an amazing opportunity to improve one's language skills, and as an aspiring interpreter, nothing excited me more than the idea of an intensive Mandarin course in China,” said Hinczynski, who applied for the opportunity during the fall of her senior year.

The CLS program typically provides recipients the opportunity to travel to a country that speaks the language they want to learn and spend two months completing an intensive language course in an immersive setting, as well as cultural excursions. The Chinese language program is usually held in Xi'an, China. Because of the pandemic, the program is being held 100% online. 

Maiju Lehmijoki-Gardner, director of Pre-Health Programs and National Fellowships, said, “I applaud CLS for coming up with creative ways to offer an international language immersion experience online. I believe that ultimately the answers to many of our times’ greatest challenges lies in the international collaboration and seeing ourselves as part of a global community.”

The CLS opportunity includes a seven-week program focused on sustainable development and entrepreneurship. 

“For instance, in the first three weeks, we have studied sub-units such as trash collection and processing and air pollution—including causes, effects, and what the government can do to ameliorate it,” said Hinczynski.

While at Loyola, Hinczynski was a Spanish major with minors in Chinese and international business.

“For years I have wanted to become a multilingual interpreter for international relations or a non-profit. I wanted to perfect my Spanish and Chinese so I could offer my translation/interpretation services to companies and organizations across the globe to help foster international communication and better relations and help people from various countries understand one another better,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to continue with learning various other languages, but I need to perfect my fluency in Spanish and Mandarin first.”

As a student, Hinczynski studied abroad in Beijing.

“Studying in Beijing was a phenomenal experience. My program was incredibly helpful in giving us all the guidance and resources we needed, the teachers did their best to keep American culture in mind with regards to how they taught the class, and I had countless opportunities to practice my Chinese with native speakers.” 

Hinczynski also credits her experience abroad for helping her with the CLS application process and preparing her for the opportunity.

“Loyola gave me a network, whether it be for support, for logistical help, for educational consultation, or career preparation. Loyola’s mentorship gave me confidence and the drive to participate in all of my international endeavors. My Loyola education also continued to foster and support my passion for language learning through my study abroad experiences and my wonderful language teachers at the University.”

Hinczynski, who is also a Fulbright Scholarship recipient, will teach English in Kinmen, Taiwan, starting in January 2021.