Critical Language Scholarships
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. In 2006, its inaugural year, the CLS Program offered intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. In 2013, approximately 600 scholarships were awarded for thirteen languages, including Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu.
CLS is an overseas, group-based program that takes place each summer. Program sites, dates, and overseas institutional partners may vary from year to year. Information for the most recent program year can be found in the institute profiles under the Languages tab on their website.
The CLS Program institutes cover approximately one academic year of university-level language coursework during a seven- to ten-week program, and are designed to meet the needs of students from a variety of language levels and backgrounds. Some CLS institutes require one to two years of prior language study (or the equivalent), while others accept students with no prior knowledge of the language.
Formal classroom language instruction is provided for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Extracurricular activities are designed to supplement the formal curriculum, including regular one-on-one meetings with native speaker language partners for conversational practice, as well as cultural activities and excursions designed to expand students’ understanding of the history, politics, culture and daily life of their host country. Individual institute profiles under the Languages tab provide more information on program structure.
Program costs – airfare, tuition, room and board, cultural program expenses, overseas health benefits, and applicable visa fees – are fully covered for all participants. Participants receive a small stipend to cover incidental expenses and meals not provided by the program. The CLS Program provides undergraduate academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. Upon completion of the program, participants also receive a certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) score.
For more information, please visit the CLS website.