Critical Language Scholarship Program

US college students spend a summer immersed in one of the world's critical languages and cultures.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at US colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS 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.

The CLS Program is sponsored by the US Department of State with funding provided by the US government. It is supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education. The CLS Program offers intensive summer language institutes in 15 critical foreign languages, including:

  • Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu: Beginning, intermediate or advanced level;
  • Arabic, Persian, Portuguese: Advanced beginning, intermediate or advanced level;
  • Chinese, Japanese, Russian: Intermediate or advanced level
Critical Language Scholarship Program

Application Deadline
Funded by

US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs


US undergraduate and graduate students