Alumni are central to the mission of the CLS Program. CLS alumni go on to do a wide variety of great things with their language skills and cultural knowledge, both academically and professionally. In addition to providing information about the program to colleagues, classmates, and people in their communities, CLS Program alumni play a key role in preparing prospective applicants and finalists and serving as citizen ambassadors of their study abroad experiences.
The Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Society (CLSAS) is an independent organization led by CLS alumni that provides alumni with avenues for professional development, community engagement, and language retention. The association serves as an advocate for the continued advancement of critical language studies and cultural exchange in the U.S. and abroad.
There are a variety of ways to stay connected to CLS alumni and the CLS Program including the following:
- Join the CLS Program Official Alumni Group on LinkedIn
- Join the CLS Program Alumni Group on Facebook along with your language Facebook group
- Create an account at alumni.state.gov to pursue opportunities for alumni of U.S. Department of State exchange program alumni
- Keep CLS Program staff up-to-date on your changes in contact information and share news with us via this form, by emailing us, or by calling us at (202) 833-7522
CLS Alumni Ambassadors are recent CLS participants who take leadership roles as active representatives of the CLS Program.
Each year, the CLS Alumni Development Fund (ADF) offers small grants to alumni of the CLS Program through a competitive application process. The ADF is designed to provide opportunities for alumni to continue their language learning, pursue career development goals, and participate in community outreach related to CLS languages and their corresponding world regions.
As the Critical Language Scholarship Program continues to grow, we want to ensure new participants have access to a variety of support for the unique and varied challenges they may face during their time abroad. One of our most significant resources for assisting new students is our deep pool of alumni who have experience on the CLS Program in different countries and sites, and a variety of overseas experience to share with new students.
The learning process doesn’t end when CLS Program participants complete their time abroad on the CLS Program. During the re-entry phase, program participants often benefit from opportunities to continue commitment to the language and to process all that they learned while abroad. We offer resources to alumni eager to integrate their CLS experience back into their personal, academic, and professional lives.
CLS Alumni are instrumental in our outreach efforts to prospective applications regarding the program. Because CLS is a relatively young initiative, there are still many qualified students at colleges and universities across the U.S. who have not heard of the program. We rely heavily on CLS information sessions to help get the word out to these students, as well as to the faculty and staff at their institutions who will help to promote the program to new students for years to come.