Congratulations 2023 CLS finalists!
In 2023, we selected approximately 500 competitive American students from 245 institutions as CLS finalists. Read our announcement.
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 provides opportunities for American college and university students to study languages and cultures essential to America's engagement with the world.
Each summer, American undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities across the country, spend eight to ten weeks learning one of fourteen languages at an intensive study abroad institute. The CLS Program is designed to promote rapid language gains and essential intercultural fluency in regions that are critical to U.S. national security and economic prosperity.
CLS Spark, an initiative of the CLS Program, provides opportunities for American undergraduate college and university students to study Arabic, Chinese and Russian virtually at the beginning level.
Designed to leverage best practices in online language learning, CLS Spark provides students with the opportunity to study critical languages virtually when they may not have access to studying these languages on their campuses.
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government. It is supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education.
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
Alumni Profile: Mayisha HaqueMayisha Haque is a two-time alumna of the CLS Korean Program having participated in CLS Korean in 2021 hosted by Pusan National University in Busan, South Korea and again in 2022, hosted by Chonnam National University in Gwangju, South Korea. Mayisha is a senior at Wayne State University double-maj…
March 24, 2023
Alumni Profile: Zion ShihZion Shih is an alumna of the CLS Chinese Program hosted by Tamkang University in New Taipei City, Taiwan. Zion attends Loma Linda University where she studies Translational Medicine as an MD-PhD student. As a future physician-scientist, Zion plans to bring her work with patients into the lab to in…
March 20, 2023
Alumni Profile: Eugeniu ProdanEugeniu Prodan is an alumnus of the 2022 CLS Indonesian Program hosted by Universitas Negeri Malang in Malang, Indonesia. He is a second-year student in the Master of International Affairs Program at Texas A&M University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Bachelor of Science in Busi…
March 16, 2023
Alumni Profile: Yumei LinYumei Lin is an alumna of the 2022 CLS Indonesian Program hosted by Universitas Negeri Malang in Malang, Indonesia. She is a graduate of Tufts University with a degree in International Relations with a concentration in Security Studies and a minor in Economics. Yumei hopes to apply her Indonesian a…
March 14, 2023
CLS in the Press
Learning Critical Languages
Critical Language Scholarship Program provides a cultural immersion experience for students
Shared from UDaily, March 21, 2023
Three VCU students, one alum selected for prestigious language scholarship
Critical Language Scholarship and CLS Spark Program honorees will study languages with the goal of helping improve U.S. diplomatic relationships.
Shared from VCU News, March 21, 2023
Ellie Penner ’23 Awarded Critical Language Scholarship to Study in India
Ellie Penner ’23, a Washington and Lee University senior, has received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Bangla this summer in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Shared from The Columns, March 20, 2023