Critical Language Scholarship Program | Alumni Support Network
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Alumni Support Network

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. To facilitate the exchange of experience and promote mentoring relationships across program years, CLS introduced the CLS Alumni Support Network in 2015.

Alumni Resource Directory

Each spring, the CLS Program invites all alumni to share their information in the Alumni Resource Directory. This directory is intended to provide both alumni and participants with the opportunity to connect and share the great wealth of experience and knowledge that our alumni have about CLS languages and their respective world regions. The topics in the directory range from general program preparation to navigating individual identity in another culture and life after CLS. Participants are encouraged to use the directory to reach out to alumni for additional support before starting and while on the program.

Alumni are asked to opt in to the directories each spring, and the directory is only distributed to the current year’s participants and the alumni who have also opted into the directory. If you are interested participating in the Alumni Resource Directory, watch for an email from in the spring inviting you to participate.

One-to-One Mentoring

In addition to the Alumni Resource Directories, we also offer participants the option to be paired with an alumni mentor. Each spring, finalists are invited to request an alumni mentor by completing a survey. While we can’t promise exactly who will volunteer to be mentors in a given year in each language, we do our best to make pairings according to areas of interest indicated in participants’ and mentors’ survey responses.