Savannah Martinez '16 in State Department Program

Courtesy of Savannah Martinez

Sociology major Savannah Martinez is in the midst of grand adventure learning Bangla in Bangladesh this summer as part of the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program. She is the first student in MSU history to be accepted to this prestigious and highly competitive program.

In addition to sociology, the New Mexico native is studying child advocacy, Japanese and Spanish. She decided to apply for the State Department program because she loves languages and learning about different cultures. After graduation, she hopes to work with international students or for an international organization that advocates for countries abroad.

Cultural immersion
Martinez is excited to be in Bangladesh. The country, and its language, are not on the world's radar as much as they should be, she wrote in an email. The nation has great potential yet it suffers from tremendous poverty and extreme flooding due to changes in climate.

She finds the all-inclusive program to be well-organized. She is well taken care of and the food is outstanding. “Everything I have tried from meat to fruit to desserts has been some of the best food I have ever had,” she wrote.

The weather, in the 90s and very humid, has been more manageable than she thought it would be, though she does suffer from a bit of sensory overload living in the mega-city capital, Dhaka, where the streets are congested with people, cars, taxis and even animals like cows and chicken. “I like to call it perfect chaos because although it looks like there should be accidents happening every second of every day, I have never seen one,” she wrote.

Study abroad at MSU
Martinez returns to the United States in August and is slated to graduate in May 2016. Visit the Global Education Center’s website for more details on study abroad at MSU and read more about Martinez's acceptance in the Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship Program.

More on these programs at Montclair State University:
Child Advocacy