Critical Language Scholarship Program | Joining the CLS Alumni…

Joining the CLS Alumni Community

Alumni Activities

After successfully completing all CLS post-program requirements, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of CLS alumni initiatives including those designed to contribute to the success of future participants. More information about these activities will be provided upon your completion of the CLS Program in the aforementioned re-entry webinar and guidebook. We hope that you will choose to stay involved with CLS for many years beyond this summer!

International Exchange Alumni

You will be joining a community of alumni of U.S. Department of State programs, a distinguished network of individuals from all over the world. You can explore the additional resources and opportunities available to you as a member of this community on the International Exchange Alumni website ( Following completion of post-program requirements, you will receive an invitation with a link to create your account.

Non-Competitive Eligibility

Under Executive Order 13750, alumni who successfully complete the CLS program are eligible for 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status for civil service positions within the federal government, with the possibility of an extension up to three years if certain criteria are met. Alumni of the CLS program will be issued a letter confirming this status upon successful completion of their post-program requirements. If you are interested in working with the U.S. government and want to take advantage of your NCE status, more information is available through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ( You will receive additional information and a guide to using your NCE in your job search following completion of the program.

CLS Alumni Society  

The Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Society (CLSAS) is an independent, alumni-led organization by and for CLS alumni. CLSAS provides alumni with avenues for professional development, community engagement, networking, and language retention. The association serves as an advocate for the continued advancement of critical language studies and cultural exchange in the United States and abroad. We encourage you to join CLSAS and stay engaged with the CLS community. You can find more information on the CLSAS website (

Members of the inaugural CLS Alumni Society working group.

Staying in Touch

CLS alumni play an important role in maintaining and demonstrating the success of the CLS Program. Please remember to keep us updated about new jobs, fellowships, continued studies, and any other big news.

The Department of State and American Councils also reach out to alumni for opportunities to represent CLS with important U.S. and foreign government officials, speak at special events, and to be featured on Department of State and CLS promotional materials and websites. If you change your email address, relocate, or change your name, please make sure to let us know by emailing us at so that we can contact you about relevant news, events, and opportunities!

CLS also offers opportunities to stay connected and network with other CLS alumni online:         

Join the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program – Official Alumni Group on LinkedIn:

Join the Critical Language Scholarship Official Alumni Facebook group:

Join the Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Society as a member:

Check out resources and funding opportunities at the U.S. Department of State’s International Exchange Alumni website:

If you haven’t already, join the Critical Language Scholarship Facebook group for participants and alumni of your target language:

• Arabic:

• Azerbaijani:

• Bangla:

• Chinese:

• Hindi:

• Indonesian:

• Japanese:

• Korean:

• Persian:

• Portuguese:

• Punjabi:

• Russian:

• Swahili:

• Turkish:

• Urdu:

In early spring following completion of the CLS Program, you will also be invited to share your experiences as alumni of the program through the Alumni Support Network. Alumni who opt to participate in the Alumni Resource Directories will receive a copy in order to connect with other alumni.

CLS Korean participants at the beach in Busan, South Korea.