Critical Language Scholarship Program | Emergency Procedures

Emergency Procedures

In case of emergency or severe illness, contact your Resident Director immediately. If you cannot reach your Resident Director, call other local CLS institute staff.

Cell Phones

Participants are provided emergency contact cards with important phone numbers and information as well as basic mobile phones that they can use to contact local staff in case of emergency. For most sites in 2023, CLS Program staff will work with you to ensure your personal cell phone will work overseas. You are required to keep the phone activated and the battery charged so that you can call in case of emergency and receive calls in case you need to be notified of a serious situation. You should also enter the Resident Director’s number and at least two other local staff members’ numbers into the phone’s memory so that you are not searching for phone numbers in case of an emergency. If there is an emergency, your Resident Director and Institute Director will work with American Councils staff in Washington, D.C., to find the best possible resolution to the situation.

Evacuations or Suspensions of a CLS Program Site

Student safety and security is a top priority for the U.S. Department of State and American Councils. American Councils will engage with the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Embassies and Consulates overseas, as well as local authorities to monitor the security situation prior to and during your CLS program.

Prior to your CLS Program

If the Department of State determines that a program site is not safe for any reason, 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, and if no mutually acceptable assignment can be arranged, the CLS Program may be moved to an online format or may be cancelled outright. In the event of program cancellation, all 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 your CLS Program

In the event that the Department of State determines an evacuation of U.S. citizens from a host country/location 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 benefits and obligations shall cease.

CLS Swahili participants at a waterfall near Arusha, Tanzania.