Apply Today!

The application for the new Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Spark Program is now open! We welcome U.S. undergraduate students to apply now to learn either Arabic, Chinese, or Russian through funded online classes and activities facilitated by native speakers at host institutions abroad.  

The application is now live and available online at:

Applications are due Thursday, May 26, 2022 by 8:00pm EST.

CLS Spark Key Benefits:

  • Full scholarship covers all instruction and a $300 stipend
  • Online language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences over the course of two eleven-week terms
  • Language gains certified with the widely recognized ACTFL OPI test
  • Automatic consideration as CLS Program semifinalists for the summer overseas 2023 CLS Program to continue their language study

CLS Spark is open to any American undergraduate student enrolled in an accredited U.S.-based degree-granting program. Preference will be given to veterans of the U.S. armed forces, and to applicants from states or institutions historically underrepresented in study abroad or in the CLS Program. 

A program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the CLS Program and CLS Spark 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.  Instruction will be provided by faculty and staff at host institutions located abroad in countries where these languages are commonly spoken. With inclusive support provided by CLS Program staff, students will improve their command of all four modalities in these languages (listening, speaking, reading, writing), participate in cultural activities once a month, and make connections with members of the host country’s community and their peers across the U.S.

A schedule of information sessions for students and advisors is available at:

The CLS Program is a program of the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education
Sent by American Councils for International Education
1828 L Street NW, Suite 1200
Washington, D.C. 20036