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### ASMSA Graduate to Pursue Summer Studies in Jordan

FAYETTEVILLE – Nina Thomas, a former student of the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts who is currently a junior at the University of Arkansas, has been awarded a scholarship to study Arabic in Jordan this summer, according to a news release from her family.

Hailing from Hot Springs, Thomas stood out among more than 5,000 U.S. applicants to secure the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship, a program under the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the American Councils for International Education.

A talented linguist and artist, Thomas is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International and Global Studies, specializing in Spanish, Latin American, and Latino Studies, with a minor in German.

Having showcased her dedication to languages and cultural immersion, she has been tutoring Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Arabic at the U of A’s Student Success Center for two years. Additionally, she has volunteered over 1,000 hours as a second-degree taekwondo black belt instructor and served as a translator for a Women’s Rights Organization during her time studying abroad in Argentina.

Thomas’ upcoming summer adventure builds on her previous involvement as an American Ambassador in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program, where she delved into German culture from 2019 to 2020.

This exchange initiative, a collaboration between the U.S. and German governments, aims to foster connections between American and German youths, enhancing their professional skills through educational and work opportunities while broadening their understanding of each other’s culture, society, history, and politics.

From spending summers at her grandmother’s country cottage near Moscow during her childhood to winning Russia’s equivalent of the funniest home videos competition, Thomas has always embraced diverse experiences. In 2023, her quest for global exploration led her to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a transformative study abroad program, as documented in an interview with a Russian immigration blogger.

Upon her return from Jordan, Thomas is set to commence her senior year at a university in Portugal as part of an exchange program.