Eligibility And Benefits of the CLS scholarship Program

CLS Scholarship Program

The CLS (Critical Language Scholarship) program is a cultural and educational exchange program of US department of state that offers approximately 650 students from the US an opportunity to participate in an intensive language study program abroad. The CLS scholarship program funds students that want to study in any one of the thirteen critical need foreign languages, and is also an important part of National Security Language Initiative.

The thirteen crucial languages include Japanese, Arabic, Indonesian, Chinese, Azerbaijani, Punjabi, Hindi, Korean, Urdu Turkish, Persian, Bengali, and Russian. With an acceptance rate of less than nine percent, the CLS scholarship is one of the most competitive scholarships in the United States and also one of the most prestigious ones for the US citizens.

Program Administration

The selection process for CLS scholarship program is administered by the American Council for International Education and all the awards are then approved by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, United States Dept of State.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants to the CLS scholarship program should be US citizens who are enrolled in any US degree program at graduate or undergraduate level at the time of application. All undergraduate students must complete at least one year of college work by the start date of the CLS scholarship program. The applicant should also have acceptable physical and metal health. All applicants will have to submit a satisfactory Physician’s statement, and Medical Information Form. The minimum age for applying for this scholarship is 18.

The CLS scholarship is open to the students in all disciplines including engineering, business, sciences, law, humanities and medicine. There’s no discrimination on the basis of gender, age, religion, race, color, national origin, disability and age in choosing the awardees.

Selection Process

The award recipients are selected on the basis of merit with a consideration for; potential to succeed in any rigorous academic setting; a good academic record; Diversity; Ability to adapt to a different cultural environment; Plan to use the language in future career and Plan for continuation of study of the language. Although exact figures are not available, but acceptance rate for this program is around ten percent with just 647 of more than 5700 applicants getting scholarships in 2012, and 574 in 2011. In highly competitive programs in Arabic and Chinese, the acceptance rate is even lower.

Program Details

The CLS scholarship program begins with a special two-day pre-departure orientation held in Washington DC. After this orientation program, the students are flown directly to their respective destinations where they delve into their intensive language programs. The program provides about 20 hours of formal language education a week. In addition, all participants also engage in various language enhancement activities including guest lectures, film viewings, conversation partners, and cultural excursions.

Grant Benefits

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

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