Critical Language Scholarship Program | Arabic
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▼  Latest News: Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with CLS Alumna Janelle Mateo  ▼

Congratulations 2023 CLS finalists!

In 2023, we selected approximately 500 competitive American students from 245 institutions as CLS finalists. Read our announcement.

What Alumni Say About the CLS Program

Key Benefits

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Develop Key Expertise

The CLS Program provides its scholars intensive language and cultural instruction in an environment designed to maximize their language gains at every level.

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Career Ready Skills

Alumni apply their critical language skills in a variety of professional fields in public and private sectors as well as government, helping to support America’s competitiveness across the board.

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Citizen Diplomacy

CLS scholars represent the breadth and diversity of the United States. Through personal engagement they help to spread American values and develop mutual understanding with the people of other countries.

  • "The Persian language opens a door to a universe of wonders within the collective history of humankind."
    Shabbir Abbas, Persian 2020
  • "I had always been interested in learning about Brazilian culture and Portuguese language and CLS made that a reality for me."
    Max Courval, Portuguese 2020
  • Just having conversations with people and being open with them about what we did culturally where I’m from; I’ve always wanted to share that with people.
    Marcus Dunn, Korean 2011
  • The CLS Program was instrumental in getting me to the proficiency level required for my career. My employer cited my language skills as one of the main traits that made me an outstanding candidate.
    John Krzyzaniak, Persian 2016

CLS News and Stories

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with CLS Alumna Janelle Mateo
Meet 2022 Japanese alumna and 2023 Alumni Ambassador, Janelle Mateo! Janelle’s connection to Japanese language and culture stems from her childhood growing up in Hawai’i. Being raised in a multi-cultural community and surrounded by the spirit of Aloha shaped Janelle’s interests in deepening both he…

May 26, 2023

CLS Spark Spotlight: It's Never Too Late
An Interview with Alumna Rosiland Townes Twenty years after she left school, Rosalind Townes returned to the classroom. That would be a big enough challenge for most people, but she decided to also study Arabic—considered one of the world’s most difficult languages to learn. For Rosiland the chall…

May 10, 2023

Alumni Profile: Pamela Ortiz
Pamela Ortiz is an alumna of the 2022 CLS Japanese Program hosted virtually by Okayama University in Okayama, Japan. Pamela recently graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from Dickinson College. Pamela plans to put her Japanese language skills to action working as…

April 28, 2023

Alumni Profile: Rana Yelen
Rana Yelen is an alumna of the 2022 CLS Korean Program hosted by Pusan National University (PNU) in Busan, South Korea. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Central Arkansas majoring in Biology and studying on the pre-dental track. In the future, Rana plans to collaborate with the …

April 28, 2023

CLS in the Press

Two WVU students awarded Critical Language Scholarship

Two  West Virginia University students passionate about learning a new language and immersing themselves in cultural experiences will travel abroad this summer as recipients of the highly competitive U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship.

Shared from WVU Today, May 19, 2023

13 a lucky number for bright UND scholars

Unprecedented number of students advance or win top awards in single semester

Shared from UND Today, May 19, 2023

MSU’s Crawford, Phillips receive national Critical Language Scholarship awards

Two Mississippi State undergraduates will study foreign languages virtually and abroad this summer as recipients of the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship.

Shared from Mississippi State University, May 19, 2023