Critical Language Scholarship Program: CLS



Critical Language Scholarship Program

The CLS (Critical Language Scholarship) program is the US Dept of State Cultural and Education Exchange program that offers approximately 600 US students a chance to participate in an intensive language study abroad. It’s a highly competitive program that funds students who study one of the thirteen critical need foreign languages. This program is a part of National Security Language Initiative.

The thirteen critical languages include Bengali, Azerbaijani, Arabic, Bengali, Japanese, Urdu, Hindi, Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Persian, Russian, Punjabi, and Turkish. With an acceptance rate of around 9 percent, the Critical Language Scholarship program is one of the most competitive scholarships in the United States and also one of the most prestigious language program open to US citizens.

Eligibility requirements for Critical Language Scholarship

* All applicants of this program should be U.S. citizens.
* They should be currently enrolled in any U.S. degree-granting program at the graduate or undergraduate level.
* All undergraduate students should have completed at least one year of coursework.
* Applicants should have acceptable physical and mental health. All grantees will have to submit a Physician’s statement and a satisfactory Medical Information Form.
* Applicant should be 18 at the beginning of Critical Language Scholarship program.

Selection Process

Program Details

The CLS program begins in Washington D.C with a two-day pre-departure orientation. Once the orientation program is over, students fly to their respective destination where they delve into their chosen intensive language programs. These programs involve around 20 hours of formal education instruction every week.

In addition, all participants also engage in various language enhancement activities, including guest lectures, conversation partners, host family visits, film viewings, and even cultural excursions. Many institutes also require their students to take a language pledge where they are required to speak their target language at the designated times. Once the program is over, students will have to provide the feedback and will also have to participate in the post-program language testing.

Grant Benefits

All program costs that are covered for the participants include: applicable visa fees, a mandatory Washington, D.C. pre-departure orientation, all entrance fees for Program, travel to and from the student’s U.S. home city and program location, group-based intensive language instruction, room, board, and program-sponsored travel within country.

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