January 18, 2018
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Hampden resident awarded Critical Language Scholarship

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Andrew Babbitt, a Boston College sophomore from Hampden, has been awarded a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship for Chinese language study at Suzhou University in China this summer.

 Babbitt is the son of Joseph and Gail Babbitt and a 2011 graduate of John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor.

More than 4,900 undergraduate and graduate students across the nation applied for the 2013 Critical Language Scholarships (CLS), which provide fully-funded, intensive programs for overseas language study. Babbitt is one of approximately 600 winners, representing more than 200 institutions of higher education. The CLS recipients will spend the summer in structured cultural enrichment experiences mastering one of 13 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

Babbitt, a math major in Boston College’s pre-med program, is interested in a career in international public health and sees the benefit of combining his interest in medicine and Chinese.

“I first took Chinese in high school and was lucky enough to travel to China on a cultural exchange trip sponsored by the Chinese government after my sophomore year. Since then, I have loved the language and culture,” said Babbitt, who has continued his Chinese studies at Boston College and is hoping to complete a minor in Chinese. Last summer, he interned for a month at the Shanghai United Family Hospital in Shanghai.

At Boston College, Babbitt is a member of the prestigious Presidential Scholars program, a highly selective honors program. He also is a singer for the Heightsmen, BC’s all-male a cappella group.

The Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes is a program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Selection is administered by American Councils for International Education. The CLS Program is administered by American Councils and The Ohio State University/Ohio University.