Critical Language Scholarship Program | Emergency Procedures
A CLS Russian student holds a fire hose during an excursion.

Emergency Procedures

CLS Program participants receive information about emergency procedures for the summer program during their pre-program and on-site orientations. In the event of an emergency, injury, or severe illness, participants should contact their Resident Director immediately. If a participant cannot reach their Resident Director, they should call other local CLS institute staff.

Prior to departure, all participants are provided emergency wallet cards with important phone numbers and information such as the address of a hospital in the host community. Participants should keep this card on their person at all times during the program. Participants are also required to ensure that they have a functioning cell phone with them at all times and respond promptly to inquiries from program staff (see section on cell phones.)

Evacuations or Suspensions of a CLS Program Site

Student safety and security is the top priority for the U.S. Department of State and American Councils. American Councils, the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas monitor the security situation in each program site prior to and during the CLS program.

Prior to the CLS Program

If the Department of State determines that a program site is not safe for any reason prior to the start of the CLS Program, the program may be suspended. If a program is suspended, American Councils, in consultation with the Department of State, will explore options for moving the institute to another location and/or placing individual participants in alternate sites. If it is not feasible to move the program to a different location or shift participants to alternate sites, the CLS Program may be moved to an online format or may be cancelled outright. In the event of program cancellation, all participant benefits and obligations shall cease.

If there are changes to the program location, dates or format prior to international departure, award recipients will be informed of the options and will have the opportunity to decline the CLS award without penalty.

During the CLS Program

In the event that the Department of State determines an evacuation of U.S. citizens is required, American Councils will work with the U.S. Embassy to ensure that participants are evacuated and returned to the U.S. in a safe and orderly manner that complies with U.S. government standards. At that time, the program will be terminated, and all participant benefits and obligations shall cease.