The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi today completed the fourth and final step to launch the latest iteration of an English-language scholarship program for disadvantaged Vietnamese students. Under this program, 96 outstanding middle and high school students from less developed districts of Lao Cai, Son La, Bac Ninh and Quang Ninh will be sponsored to take after school English classes at local English language centers for two years with a total of 360 hours of instruction. Attending today’s launching ceremony were 25 students from around Bac Ninh Province.
“The English Access Microscholarship Program provides you just that: access. Improved English skills provide opportunities for jobs, open a window to new ideas, and make you better contributors to your families, towns and country. With hard work, your improved English can qualify you for participation in scholarships for high school or university-level study in the U.S. Lack of English is a traditional hurdle for otherwise deserving applicants for Fulbright and many other U.S. exchange programs. The Access Program helps overcome this obstacle and makes these programs more inclusive.” said U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs Terry J. White to the awardees at a ceremony held in Bac Ninh province.
The U.S. State Department’s English Access Microscholarship Program started in Vietnam in 2009. To date, the U.S. State Department has invested over $500,000 for the Access Program in Vietnam and 250 students have participated in this program so far.
The English Access Microscholarship Program is a global exchange program funded by the U.S. Department of State. This program for talented 13 to 20 year olds from non-elite backgrounds provides a foundation of English language skills through after school classes and intensive summer sessions. The program also gives participants the opportunity to gain a better understanding of U.S. culture and values, increases their ability to participate successfully in the socio-economic development of their countries, and improves their chances of participating in U.S. educational and exchange programs and scholarships.
The students were selected via a competitive process that included nomination by their schools, clearance by the Department of Education and Training in their province or city, an English language placement test, and application screening and in-person interviews by the U.S. Embassy. The educational service providers selected to provide English language training for the new 96 Access students include Cleverlearn English Language Center Vietnam, Oxford English Academy Vietnam, Lao Cai Teacher Training College and Tay Bac University.