Critical Language Scholarship

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. The program includes intensive language instruction and extracurricular activities designed to promote rapid language gains and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to expand students’ understanding of the history, politics, culture and daily life of their host country. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. Languages offered include:

  • Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu: Beginning, advanced beginning, intermediate and advanced levels;
  • Arabic, Persian and Portuguese: Advanced beginning, intermediate and advanced levels;
  • Chinese, Japanese, and Russian: Intermediate and advanced levels.

The CLS Program covers most of the costs of participating in its overseas institutes, including international and domestic travel between the student’s U.S. home city, Washington, D.C., and the CLS Program site, visa application fees, costs associated with the mandatory pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C., language instruction, room, board, program-sponsored travel within the host country, all entrance fees for program activities, oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) language assessments, and U.S. academic credit issued through Bryn Mawr College.


Application Deadline: Late November

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Applicant must be a U.S. citizen and at least 18 years old
  • Be able to get visa from the country of study
  • Be enrolled in an U.S accredited undergraduate or graduate program
  • Have completed at least one academic year at the start of the program