Middle East Studies

Language Study Abroad with the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program

October 9, 2018

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.

The application is now live and available online.
Applications are due Tuesday, November 27, 2018 by 8:00pm EST.

CLS, a program of the U.S. Department of State, is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays an important role in preparing students for the 21st century's globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

This year, the CLS Program is pleased to announce the addition of Brazilian Portuguese the list of language programs for 2019. The full list of the 15 languages offered through the CLS Program includes:

  • Arabic

  • Azerbaijani

  • Bangla

  • Chinese

  • Hindi

  • Indonesian

  • Japanese

  • Korean

  • Persian

  • Portuguese

  • Punjabi

  • Russian

  • Swahili

  • Turkish

  • Urdu

Most languages offered by the CLS Program do not require applicants to have any experience studying critical languages. Language pre-requisites can be found on the CLS website.

The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, and from a wide range of fields of study and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of the United States. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits. Students from all academic disciplines, including business, engineering, law, medicine, science, social sciences, arts and humanities are encouraged to apply.

Prior to preparing their application, interested students should review the full eligibility and application information on the CLS Program website.

There will be a series of webinars to provide more information for students and advisors. Please see the links below to register for the webinar(s) of your choice. All webinars will also be recorded for those who are unable to attend.

Information for Faculty, Staff, and Advisors:

Tuesday, October 9, 1:00pm EST
Register Now

Information for Students:

Tuesday, October 9, 3:30pm EST
Register Now

The CLS Program for Community College Students:

Friday, October 12, 1:00 p.m. EST
Register Now

Diversity & Inclusion on the CLS Program:

Friday, October 12, 3:30 p.m. EST
Register Now

CLS Program Flyer

For news, updates and more information about the CLS Program, check out the CLS website or Facebook.

CLS Website
CLS on Facebook
CLS on Twitter page

For other questions, please contact: cls@americancouncils.org