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The Russian Language

If you're looking for a language that offers access to a broader variety of people, cultures, and countries, then Russian might be just what you're looking for. Russian is spoken by over a hundred million Russians, but it's also the lingua franca of the entire former Soviet Union, spoken as a second language by people in the Caucasus and Central Asia, from the country of Georgia to Kazakhstan.

Russian continues to be one of the most in-demand languages among employers in both the public and private sectors due to its international relevance and unique versatility. Russian language study is a foray into careers as diverse as speech pathology, comparative literature, and international trade, and it has the potential to open doors to regions of the world you may never have considered before.

Program Sites

The CLS Program has suspended all summer language institutes for 2020.


Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Leona Amosah
Russian 2016
Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Baltazar Hernandez
Russian 2017
Vladimir, Russia
Nikidrea Rey
Russian 2019
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Russian Stories

Announcing the CLS Virtual Institutes for Summer 2020

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is pleased to announce CLS Virtual Institutes in six critical languages in summer 2020 for a limited number of participants. CLS Virtual Institutes will provide remote language instruction and cultural learning in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean,...

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Posted May 29, 2020


Leona Amosah

Leona Amosah is a heritage speaker of Russian and went on to study the language and Russian literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Russian literature classes enabled them to connect more deeply with the history and culture of Russia, and helped prepare Leona for their...

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Posted May 18, 2020


2020 Finalists and Alternates

Congratulations to the finalists and alternates for the 2020 CLS Program, representing students from 306 institutions across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico! Although the summer 2020 program has been suspended, we applaud the commitment of the students who prepared...

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Posted May 01, 2020