Critical Language Scholarship Program | Chinese
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The Application for the 2023 CLS Program is closed. The deadline for applications was November 15, 2022 at 8pm Eastern Time.



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.


  • 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
  • Diplomatic representation of the monolith that is the United States military is very similar to the citizen diplomacy aspect of the CLS Program. You cannot begin to understand culture without the language component. With the CLS Program, you gain authenticity by learning the language.
    Andrea Howard, Azerbaijani 2015
  • "The Persian language opens a door to a universe of wonders within the collective history of humankind."
    Shabbir Abbas, Persian 2020
  • 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

CLS Alumni Selected for Marshall, Rhodes, and Schwarzman Scholarships
At the end of December, the CLS Program was thrilled to learn that several CLS Alumni were selected for highly competitive awards to support their graduate studies.  Kyra Jasper (Indonesian 2021) was named one of the 40 individuals selected to be 2023 Marshall Scholars. With approximatel…

January 06, 2023


2022 Alumni Ambassador Year in Review
In 2022, Alumni Ambassadors brought enthusiasm, expertise, and generosity of time to their roles supporting the CLS Program and promoting language study in their communities. We are always grateful to Alumni Ambassadors for their commitment to the program and enjoy preparing this overview of acco…

December 30, 2022


Alumni Spotlight: Emma Tobin
Communications Officer Rori DiFiore had the opportunity to speak with 2019 Arabic alumna Emma Tobin on how learning a critical language has allowed her to become a stronger advocate for women’s issues.  Emma talks about growing up as a third culture kid, where her interest in Arabic orig…

December 21, 2022


Forging Connection through Art and Language in Korea
Submitted by Channah Lohman (Korean 2022). Channah studies Communications and Anthropology at University of Central Florida. She hopes to one day channel her love for art and Korean language into a career fostering mutual understanding between different cultures and countries. Channah participated …

December 15, 2022


CLS in the Press

Critical Language Scholarship winners Donika and Hannah discuss their experiences

Community College of Philadelphia students Hannah Mc-Kay Simmons (Chinese 2022), an International Studies major, and Donika Campbell (Arabic 2022), a Respiratory Care Technology major, talk about why the CLS Spark program is a worthwhile opportunity for students.

Shared from Community College of Philadelphia, November 22, 2022


Podcast: Introducing Drum Tower

Alice Su (Arabic 2013) co-hosts the Economist's new weekly podcast "Drum Tower," in which correspondents from the Economist analyze the stories at the heart of China and its changing role in the world.

Shared from The Economist, November 14, 2022


‘Cultural excursions’ in South Korea | Penn State student shares experiences studying abroad, regaining his heritage

Juntae Rocker (Korean 2022) talks about his experience on the CLS Program in Busan.

Shared from Daily Collegian, September 22, 2022