Critical Language Scholarship Program | Emily Cramer
U.S. Flag   State Department Seal   A Program of the U.S. Department of State

Emily Cramer

I can­not over­state the val­ue of the CLS Pro­gram. It changed my life and what I have been able to do as a stu­dent and as a pro­fes­sion­al. I’m so excit­ed for the waves that the CLS Pro­gram will con­tin­ue to make in my life and the way CLS will con­tin­ue to change the lives of Amer­i­can schol­ars and the part­ners they touch abroad.”

Emi­ly Cramer par­tic­i­pat­ed in CLS Ara­bic in Mek­nes, Moroc­co after her sopho­more year at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. She cred­its her expe­ri­ence with the CLS Pro­gram to land­ing her posi­tion after grad­u­a­tion at Oper­a­tion Mer­cy in Jor­dan, a relief orga­ni­za­tion where she helped coor­di­nate mul­ti­ple dif­fer­ent pro­grams with an empha­sis on meet­ing the imme­di­ate needs of refugees. 

When I took cab rides in Jor­dan, the dri­vers some­times asked me if I was work­ing with the mil­i­tary or for the CIA – stereo­types of Amer­i­cans in Jor­dan at the time. When I answered no, it opened a con­ver­sa­tion on the real rea­son I was there: to learn more about the lan­guage and cul­ture, and to assist refugees. I would not have been equipped to have these con­ver­sa­tions with peo­ple had it not been for my inten­sive study expe­ri­ence with the CLS Program.”

The CLS Pro­gram gave Emi­ly the tools to lever­age her pas­sion for social jus­tice and equal­i­ty into mean­ing­ful change. In her posi­tion as the Inter­im Direc­tor of Children’s Pro­grams at Sun­ny­vale Pres­by­ter­ian Church, she works to open the eyes of priv­i­leged Sil­i­con Val­ley chil­dren to sys­tems of local and glob­al oppres­sion and equip them for their active, real-time role in break­ing those sys­tems down. 

Look­ing for­ward, Emi­ly hopes to con­tin­ue a career in research-based inter­na­tion­al work in Wash­ing­ton, D.C. Her expe­ri­ences with the CLS Pro­gram and in the MENA region gave her an appetite for informed par­tic­i­pa­tion in cre­at­ing a more equi­table future across cul­tur­al divides.

Being able to nav­i­gate an inter­cul­tur­al work­place, where there are many dif­fer­ent expec­ta­tions about work­place norms, is a skill that I would not have with­out my CLS expe­ri­ence. It makes me a great asset to any inter­na­tion­al team.”

The CLS Pro­gram was one of the most intense expe­ri­ences of my life, and one that huge­ly shaped me.”


Alumni Profiles

Emily Cramer
Emily Cramer
Arabic 2014
Meknes, Morocco

See More Profiles


Posted Date

May 25, 2020