Critical Language Scholarship Program | Emily Goshey
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Emily Goshey

Why did you want to study your CLS tar­get language?
As a stu­dent of Islam­ic stud­ies, it is cru­cial that I devel­op high pro­fi­cien­cy in Ara­bic and Per­sian, my lan­guages of research. 

What are your edu­ca­tion­al and/​or pro­fes­sion­al goals?
I hope to become a pro­fes­sor of Islam­ic stud­ies and broad­er reli­gious studies. 

How do you plan to use your tar­get lan­guage in the future?
In pur­suit of my PhD, I will be using Far­si exten­sive­ly for per­son­al research. Specif­i­cal­ly, I plan to both inter­view Far­si-speak­ers and read Far­si texts while inves­ti­gat­ing mod­ern reli­gious practices. 

How did par­tic­i­pa­tion in the CLS Pro­gram affect your life?
Par­tic­i­pat­ing in the CLS pro­gram not only enabled me to devel­op a lev­el of pro­fi­cien­cy in Far­si that I would not have attained through uni­ver­si­ty cours­es alone, it enabled me to build per­son­al and pro­fes­sion­al con­nec­tions with oth­er indi­vid­u­als who have sim­i­lar goals and inter­ests. Addi­tion­al­ly, spend­ing two months abroad with a host fam­i­ly in a place that pre­sent­ed me with many dai­ly chal­lenges taught me how to take advan­tage of learn­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties that pull me out of my com­fort zone.

What was your favorite part about being in your host country?
I loved wak­ing up in the morn­ing and know­ing that I was in the mid­dle of a great adven­ture. Get­ting accus­tomed to the nuances and dai­ly sur­pris­es of life in an unfa­mil­iar part of the world is excit­ing and eye-opening. 

What did you learn about your host coun­try that you did­n’t know before?
Before going to Tajik­istan, I had no idea how diverse the coun­try was. I knew that there were some minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tions, but it was amaz­ing to walk down the street and pass by Uygur restau­rants, to hear peo­ple speak­ing Uzbek as well as Russ­ian and Taji­ki, to learn about Pamiri eth­nic groups. You can nev­er appre­ci­ate the rich­ness of a coun­try until you get there. 

Please share a short sto­ry about your CLS Pro­gram experience.
When we were on our way back from a CLS trip to Kho­jand – a city in the north of Tajik­istan – the dri­ver of the car that I was rid­ing in was won­der­ful­ly friend­ly. He gave every par­tic­i­pant in the car a Tajik name and want­ed to know how we liked Tajik­istan so far. I told him how much I appre­ci­at­ed all of the fresh fruits and veg­eta­bles, espe­cial­ly the apri­cots. For the rest of our four-hour trip through the moun­tains, he pulled over at every apri­cot ven­dor on the side of the road, had me sam­ple some, and then bar­gained hard with the sell­er to get me a great price when I even­tu­al­ly found the apri­cots that I liked best. Anoth­er friend of ours in the car had his gui­tar with him, and our dri­ver asked us to sing, so we sang some tunes that we all knew, and he just loved it. I’ll nev­er for­get that dri­ver or those deli­cious apricots!

What is your favorite tar­get lan­guage word or phrase, and what does it mean in English?
My favorite Taji­ki word is tar­booz” which means water­mel­on. My favorite Per­sian Far­si expres­sion is moosh to ro bokhore.” It lit­er­al­ly means a mouse should eat you,” but they use it to mean you’re so cute!”

What is a must see or must try in your host city or country?
Every­one who goes to Tajik­istan should try to make it to Iskan­derkool. It is an amaz­ing lake filled with glacial run-off water in the mid­dle of gor­geous, snow-capped moun­tains. A beau­ti­ful water­fall is just a few min­utes’ hike from the lake. 

What advice would you give prospec­tive appli­cants, par­tic­i­pants on the pro­gram, and/​or recent CLS alumni?
Take advan­tage of all of the net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties that CLS presents. Oth­er appli­cants, oth­er par­tic­i­pants, oth­er alum­ni are all peo­ple who more like­ly than not share a set of com­mon inter­ests with you. Both my Far­si pro­fi­cien­cy and my over­all knowl­edge about the region and the cul­ture increased when I took the time to learn from my fel­low par­tic­i­pants. Fur­ther­more, among our­selves we have shared leads on jobs, fund­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties and more. 

Per­son­al background
I was born in Japan, and lived there until I was four years old, but after that I grew up main­ly in Minnesota.

Apart from learn­ing for­eign lan­guages I love moun­tain climb­ing, hik­ing, yoga, cook­ing Mid­dle-East­ern food and horse­back riding. 

I have four broth­ers, but no sis­ters. I am also half-British, and am a dual citizen.


Alumni Profiles

Emily Goshey
Emily Goshey
Persian 2014
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

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Posted Date

April 27, 2015