» Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes


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 14 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. Some CLS institutes require one to two years of prior language study (or the equivalent), while others accept students with no prior background in the language. Languages include:

Arabic Korean
Azerbaijani Persian
Bangla/Bengali Punjabi
Chinese Russian
Hindi Turkish
Indonesian Urdu


  • Open to undergraduates, graduating seniors, recent graduates, MA, and Ph.D. students in all disciplines.
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least one year of coursework by program start date.
  • Must be a US citizen.

Candidate Profile:

Demonstrated interest in learning the target language; clear indication of intention to continue studying the language and using it in academic and professional career; maturity and academic ability to function in a group-based, intensive environment; diversity, broadly defined to include major, home institution type (community college applicants welcome), geographic diversity and other categories.


All program costs are covered, including travel between the student’s home city, Washington, DC, and program location (e.g., China, Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh, India, etc., depending on language studied), room, board, travel within country, and all entrance fees for program activities.  University level credit may be available. 

Award Period: 

7 – 10 weeks


Normally mid-November.