Critical Language Scholarship Program | Urdu
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▼  Alumni Profile: Brigid Shanley  ▼

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.

  • "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
  • 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
  • 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

CLS News and Stories

Alumni Profile: Brigid Shanley
Brigid Shanley is an alumna of the 2022 CLS Swahili Program hosted by MS-Training Centre for Development Cooperation in Arusha, Tanzania. Brigid is a senior at California State University, Long Beach where she majors in Linguistics and minors in Anthropology. Brigid hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Lingu…

June 06, 2023

CLS Alumni Spotlight: Lucy Minicozzi-Wheeland on Navigating Mental Health & Studying Abroad
Meet CLS alumna, expert on Eastern Europe and the Caucasus, and world traveler, Lucy Minicozzi-Wheeland! Lucy is not afraid to venture outside her comfort zone. She’s participated in three fellowships abroad—the first in Odesa, Ukraine for 7 months as a researcher with the Fulbright U.S. Student Pr…

May 31, 2023

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

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