The Chinese Language

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world, boasting almost 900 million native speakers and over a billion speakers in total! Dating back thousands of years, the Chinese language reflects a rich history of cultural traditions and encompasses a vast diversity of people, places, and perspectives. The Chinese language itself is various, featuring many mutually unintelligible regional dialects and variations, although Mandarin has been adopted as a de facto standard.

It's easy to see why Chinese is in such high demand, with booming economies all over the world in locations such as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and of course China, all featuring Mandarin Chinese as a key component. As technology continues to connect the East and the West, more Americans are learning Chinese in order to engage effectively in the global marketplace and pursue international careers in diverse fields such as archaeology, finance, sociology, and medicine. The CLS Program teaches students Mandarin Chinese, while providing opportunities for students to engage with China's diverse local culture.

Program Sites

Dalian, China
Jun 02, 2019 - Aug 03, 2019
Jun 02, 2019 - Aug 03, 2019
Changchun, China
Jun 11, 2019 - Aug 10, 2019
Tainan, Taiwan
Jun 16, 2019 - Aug 17, 2019
Xi'an, China
Jun 18, 2019 - Aug 17, 2019

Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Mahli Knutson
Japanese 2018
Hikone, Japan
Jason Chen
Chinese 2018
Xi'an, China
Holden Fitzgerald
Chinese 2018
Xi'an, China

Chinese Stories

Jamal Russell Black

Jamal Russell Black was a CLS participant in 2016 in China, and is now the CEO and Head Researcher at Veridian Analytics in San Diego, California. His goal was always to work in international and economic development, and during his undergraduate program it became apparent to Jamal that...

Read more

Posted October 01, 2019

Announcing the 2020 CLS Application - Now Open!

We are pleased to announce that the application for the 2020 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is now open! American undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply now to learn a critical foreign language next summer on a fully-funded study abroad program.


Read more

Posted September 12, 2019

Announcing Application Dates and Changes to the 2020 CLS Program

The CLS Program is in the process of wrapping up another successful summer, and with it we are turning our attention to the fall application and recruitment season. We have a few important updates leading into the fall application season that we want to share with advisors and students as soon...

Read more

Posted August 15, 2019