Critical Language Scholarship Program | Information for Advisors

Information for Advisors

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The CLS Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks over the summer studying one of 14 critical languages (Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu).

The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains and cultural fluency. 

Under the CLS Program, CLS Spark provides virtual opportunities for American undergraduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities to study Arabic, Chinese, and Russian at the beginner level over the summer. Designed to leverage best practices in online language learning, CLS Spark provides participants the opportunity to study critical languages virtually at the absolute beginner level when they may not have access to these languages. 

The CLS Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, and part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. The CLS Program plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century's globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

The CLS Program offers instruction at overseas institutes for the following languages and levels:

Open to students at all language levels, including beginners

Azerbaijani, Hindi, Indonesian, Persian, Portuguese, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu

One year prior study required

Arabic, Korean and Russian

Two years prior study required

Chinese and Japanese

CLS Spark, a virtual program, offers instruction for undergraduate students with no previous formal classroom study experience for the following languages:

Absolute beginners, no formal classroom experience

Arabic, Chinese and Russian

To learn more about the CLS Program: