Critical Language Scholarship for Summer Study

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National Deadline: November 23, 2015

Official Website and Application


As part of the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), the Department of State Critical Language Scholarships provides funding for U.S. citizen undergraduate, Master’s and Ph.D. students to participate in beginning, intermediate and/or advanced level summer language programs at American Councils for International Education and affiliated partners.

Languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.

The CLS Program is pleased to announce that, for the first time, Swahili will be offered at the beginning through advanced levels.

Please note that participants in the CLS Program are not required to have any experience studying critical languages for most of the fourteen languages.

(Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, and Russian institutes have language prerequisites.)

Programs range from 7 weeks to 10 weeks, beginning in early to mid-June with a pre-departure orientation in the U.S. Students must attend the full program and participate in all program activities.

Students in all disciplines including business, engineering, law, medicine, sciences and humanities are encouraged to apply.

The Award

The CLS Program covers: travel to and from US and program location, pre-departure orientation in Washington DC, applicable visa fees, room, board, group-based intensive language instruction, program-sponsored travel within country, all entrance fees for CLS cultural enrichemnte activities.


All applicants must be:

  • U.S. citizens
  • Currently enrolled in a U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • Current undergraduate students must have completed at least one year of general college course-work by program start date (one year is defined as two semesters or three quarters)
  • At least 18 years old by beginning of CLS Program, in acceptable mental and physical health

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