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: