Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

The CLS Program was launched in 2006 to offer intensive overseas study in the critical need foreign languages of Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish and Urdu. In 2007, Chinese, Korean, Persian, and Russian institutes were added along with increased student capacity in the inaugural language institutes. In 2009, Azerbaijani will be offered at the intermediate and advanced levels.

The CLS Program provides fully-funded seven to ten week group-based intensive language instruction and extensive cultural enrichment experiences held overseas at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels for U.S. citizen undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D. students.

The CLS Program is part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), a U.S. government interagency effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. The CLS Program does not have any government service requirement upon completion, however, it is expected that participants will continue to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future academic and professional careers.

Eligibility:

  • All applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • Current undergraduate students must have completed at least one year of general college course-work by program start date (one year is defined as two semesters or three quarters).
  • Please see program details for more information on language pre-requisites for individual institutes.
  • Students in all disciplines including business, science, engineering humanities and the social sciences are encouraged to apply.
  • The U.S. Department of State and CAORC welcome all eligible applications and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or handicap condition.

Benefits: All program costs are covered for participants. This includes travel between the student's US home city and program location, pre-departure orientation costs, applicable visa fees, room, board, group-based intensive language instruction, program-sponsored travel within country, and all entrance fees for program activities. Note: U.S. passport fees will not be paid by the scholarship. Selected applicants must have a U.S. passport valid through the end of the next year with at least two blank visa pages by early March (before the summer program). Plan in advance to avoid visa delays!

Visit the CLS website for more information. Talk to the OIP Director for assistance with the application process.

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