Critical Language Scholarship Program | Information for Advisors
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Information for Advisors

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The Critical Language Scholarship (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 abroad studying one of 15 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains and cultural fluency.


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

The CLS Pro­gram offers instruc­tion in the fol­low­ing lan­guages and levels:

Open to stu­dents at all lan­guage lev­els, includ­ing beginners

Azer­bai­jani, Bangla, Hin­di, Indone­sian, Per­sian, Pun­jabi, Swahili, Turk­ish and Urdu

One year pri­or study required

Ara­bic, Kore­an, Russ­ian and Portuguese

Two years pri­or study required

Chi­nese and Japanese

To learn more about the CLS Program: