Critical Language Scholarship Program | Support for Participants
U.S. Flag   State Department Seal   A Program of the U.S. Department of State

Support for Participants

Connect Before You Leave

As a CLS recipient, there are several ways to connect online with other current program participants, as well as CLS alumni and staff.

    Alumni Support Network

    One of the CLS Program’s most significant resources for assisting new participants is our deep pool of CLS Program alumni. Their diverse experiences on the CLS Program and the lessons they have learned are valuable tools that they can share with you. The Alumni Support Network exists to put you in contact directly with our alumni and includes our Alumni Resource Directories and our One-to-One Mentorship Program.

    Alumni Resource Directories

    These directories – distributed by language– list alumni who have volunteered to speak with you about a variety of topics, both sensitive and routine. Please take advantage of this resource – our alumni are looking forward to sharing their experiences and answering your questions about everything from packing and staying mentally and physically healthy on the program to representing diverse perspectives and navigating identity abroad. You’re encouraged to refer to these directories and reach out to the alumni listed in them with pre-program questions as well as throughout your time abroad.

    One-to-One Mentorship Program

    In addition to the resource directories, which all students will receive in the spring, you will also have the opportunity to request an individual alumni mentor. Mentoring pairs are encouraged to communicate regularly prior to and throughout the program, so that alumni can provide their mentees with ongoing support and perspectives based on their experiences abroad. Mentors are paired with participants based on language and, wherever possible, program site and other factors you identify in your opt-in survey. You will receive a survey in the spring, inviting you to request a mentor if you feel this would be a good source of support for you.

    If you have questions about the Alumni Support Network, you can reach out to the Alumni Engagement Officer at clsalumni@americancouncils.org.

    CLS Arabic participants at Petra.