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
Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with CLS Alumna Janelle MateoMeet 2022 Japanese alumna and 2023 Alumni Ambassador, Janelle Mateo! Janelle’s connection to Japanese language and culture stems from her childhood growing up in Hawai’i. Being raised in a multi-cultural community and surrounded by the spirit of Aloha shaped Janelle’s interests in deepening both he…
May 26, 2023
CLS Spark Spotlight: It's Never Too LateAn Interview with Alumna Rosiland Townes Twenty years after she left school, Rosalind Townes returned to the classroom. That would be a big enough challenge for most people, but she decided to also study Arabic—considered one of the world’s most difficult languages to learn. For Rosiland the chall…
May 10, 2023
Alumni Profile: Pamela OrtizPamela Ortiz is an alumna of the 2022 CLS Japanese Program hosted virtually by Okayama University in Okayama, Japan. Pamela recently graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from Dickinson College. Pamela plans to put her Japanese language skills to action working as…
April 28, 2023
Alumni Profile: Rana YelenRana Yelen is an alumna of the 2022 CLS Korean Program hosted by Pusan National University (PNU) in Busan, South Korea. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Central Arkansas majoring in Biology and studying on the pre-dental track. In the future, Rana plans to collaborate with the …
April 28, 2023
CLS in the Press
Two WVU students awarded Critical Language Scholarship
Two West Virginia University students passionate about learning a new language and immersing themselves in cultural experiences will travel abroad this summer as recipients of the highly competitive U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship.
Shared from WVU Today, May 19, 2023
13 a lucky number for bright UND scholars
Unprecedented number of students advance or win top awards in single semester
Shared from UND Today, May 19, 2023
MSU’s Crawford, Phillips receive national Critical Language Scholarship awards
Two Mississippi State undergraduates will study foreign languages virtually and abroad this summer as recipients of the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship.
Shared from Mississippi State University, May 19, 2023