The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an immersive summer opportunity for American college and university students to learn languages essential to America's engagement with the world.
The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.
Each summer, CLS provides rigorous academic instruction in fourteen languages that are critical to America's national security and economic prosperity. CLS participants are citizen ambassadors, sharing American values abroad.
In addition to traditional study abroad institutes, the CLS Program also provides virtual instruction to beginning-level Arabic, Chinese and Russian learners to build their language skills with the CLS Spark initiative.
What Alumni Say About the CLS Program
Develop Key Expertise
The CLS Program provides its scholars intensive language and cultural instruction in an environment designed to maximize their language gains at every level.
Career Ready Skills
Alumni apply their critical language skills in a variety of professional fields in public and private sectors as well as government, helping to support America’s competitiveness across the board.
CLS scholars represent the breadth and diversity of the United States. Through personal engagement they help to spread American values and develop mutual understanding with the people of other countries.
CLS News and Stories
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September 01, 2022
CLS in the Press
‘Cultural excursions’ in South Korea | Penn State student shares experiences studying abroad, regaining his heritage
Juntae Rocker (Korean 2022) talks about his experience on the CLS Program in Busan.
Shared from Daily Collegian, September 22, 2022
U.S. Department of State Offers Opportunities for American and International Students and Scholars at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
U.S. Department of State programs including the CLS Program provide opportunities for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Shared from U.S. Department of State, September 20, 2022
Elizabethtown College International Business and Political Science major Laura Cardona ’23 has been granted a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Mandarin through the U. S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, CLS Program.
Shared from E-Town News, August 29, 2022