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After winning scholarship, Davies junior is China bound

FARGO - There's one thing that won't get lost in translation when you talk to Anna Scheeler about her next adventure. She's ready to hit the road. The Davies High School junior will spend about six weeks in China this summer, courtesy of the U.S.

Scheeler
Anna Scheeler, a junior at Fargo Davies High School, has won a State Department-sponsored scholarship to study in China for about six weeks this summer. Anna is quickly nearing polyglot status. She was taught Danish by her mother, Dorte Scheeler, left, who is a professional translator. In addition to studying Mandarin Chinese at Davies, Anna is also learning French. Photo was taken Wednesday, April 23, 2014 in Fargo, N.D. Photo was taken by Helmut Schmidt/The Forum

FARGO - There's one thing that won't get lost in translation when you talk to Anna Scheeler about her next adventure. She's ready to hit the road.

The Davies High School junior will spend about six weeks in China this summer, courtesy of the U.S. State Department.

Scheeler is one of about 600 winners nationwide of expenses-paid scholarships to study abroad as part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth.

Scheeler, who has studied Mandarin Chinese for three years, is "super excited."

"I'm going to be a little nervous, of course, but I think I'm ready to take up the challenge," she said.

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She'll be gone from June 25 to Aug. 11 with two days in Washington, D.C., for pre-travel orientation.

Once in China, she'll live with a host family, attending language classes with about 20 other Americans.

"That will be complete immersion," Scheeler said.

To win the scholarship, Scheeler filled out an application online, wrote two essays and obtained two letters of recommendation.

Scheeler's parents had to sign off on the program. She also had to provide a complete medical history and her high school transcript - all for the first stage of the process.

Anna and her parents later had an interview with a representative from the program, her mother, Dorte Scheeler, said.

The NSLI-Y program was launched in 2006 with the aim of increasing the number of young Americans with language skills in several critical languages. Beyond Chinese, the program also promotes the study of Arabic, Hindi, Korean, Persian (Tajiki), Russian and Turkish.

Anna will be tested in May to determine if she is a beginning, intermediate or advanced Chinese learner. Then, in June, she heads to Hangzhou, south of Shanghai.

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"It's supposed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world," Anna said.

It's also known for producing tea, she said, "and I really love tea."

Dorte says her daughter is well on the way to polyglot status.

Dorte, who works as a Danish translator, said she spoke nothing but Danish to her daughter as she grew up to ensure that she would be bilingual.

In addition, Anna not only studies Chinese at Davies but French, too.

"Even if she doesn't pursue (learning Chinese further), it opens up a lot of opportunities for her." Dorte said. "This is fantastic. This is something we could never give her."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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