Critical Languages Scholarship Program 2024


The Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) Program provides fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to ten weeks for seven critical languages. CLS will award approximately 600 scholarships in Summer 2024. Students of diverse linguistic backgrounds and levels of proficiency are encouraged to apply.


What is the Critical Languages Scholarship Program?

The Critical Languages Scholarship Program is a fully funded, eight-week summer study abroad program for American college and university students. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The Critical Languages Scholarship Program offers scholarships to study fourteen different critical languages during an eight-week summer institute. The program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students who have completed two years of study in a particular language.

Scholarship recipients receive a stipend to help cover the costs of travel, room, and board. In addition, they are eligible for a grant to cover the cost of tuition and fees at the host institution.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible for the Critical Languages Scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen at the time of application
  • Be enrolled in an accredited U.S. institution of higher education at the undergraduate or graduate level
  • Be in good academic standing at their institution of study
  • Have proficiency in English
  • Demonstrate a commitment to study a critical language during their academic career by completing an advanced level of study of the language prior to the start of the program
  • Agree to return to the United States for a minimum of two years after completion of the program

What are the benefits of the program?

The Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) Program offers students the opportunity to study 14 different critical languages during an 8-10 week summer institute. The program is fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, including all program costs and round-trip airfare.

Participants in the CLS Program will:

  • Develop proficiency in a critical language, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Persian, Russian, and Swahili
  • Gain a better understanding of the culture and society where the target language is spoken
  • Build important professional and academic networks
  • Prepare for future careers in government, business, international development, education, research, and more


The Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully funded eight-week summer study abroad program for college and university students. It is designed to increase the number of students who know less commonly taught languages and who are interested in international careers.

In order to be eligible, students must be enrolled at a U.S. college or university at the time of application, be in good academic standing, be 18 years of age or older, and have no prior proficiency in the language they wish to study.

CLS offers instruction in over 15 languages, including Arabic, Bangla/Bengali, Hindi, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu; Swahili; Chinese; Japanese; Korean; Russian; and Central Asian languages such as Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajiki, Turkmen and Uzbek. All CLS participants are required to live with host families during their program to gain the most immersive experience possible and build long-lasting relationships.

When is the application deadline?

The Critical Languages Scholarship Program application deadline is OPEN NOW:


The Critical Language Scholarship Program is an amazing opportunity for students to learn a foreign language. The program provides full funding for eight to ten weeks of study in one of fifteen critical languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Persian, and Russian. If you are interested in learning a critical language, I highly encourage you to apply for the program. With the CLS Program’s support, you will be able to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to make a difference in our increasingly interconnected world.