Critical language scholarship Application 2023 | How To Apply And Get It

Critical Language Scholarship

The critical language scholarship program is an avenue fully funded to facilitate the engagement of US undergraduate and graduate students with the language and culture of other countries. 

The main objectives of this scholarship program are to widen the level of American studying, learning some important languages, and building the relationship between US citizens and other countries.

CLS helps to fund so many students’ education requirements in all learning languages in the United States. 

There are varieties of languages you can learn in the CLS, and the good news is that you necessarily don’t need to have any knowledge in those languages.

The Critical Language Scholarship is looking out for candidates with various interests and from an extensive scope of the professional path.

The Critical Language Scholarship expects that the main motivation of you as a candidate should be to represent your full multifariousness of professional, regional, cultural, and academic backgrounds in the United States.

You will be selected based on your dedication to language learning and your intention to apply your language skills to every area of your life. 

Below is the list of languages offered by the critical language scholarship program;

  • Azerbaijani
  • Bangla
  • Hindi
  • Indonesian
  • Korean
  • Punjabi
  • Swahili
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Arabic
  • Persian
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Russian

Note that;

You need a year of study to learn Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, and Russian. You need two years of study to learn Japanese and Chinese. 

The Critical Language Scholarship is organized by the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural affairs. The program is a part of the government of the US to widen the number of students learning important foreign languages.

Eligibility For The Critical Language Scholarship Program

Critical Language Scholarship

You need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for the Critical Language Scholarship. The requirements are listed below;

  • You must be a citizen of the United States of America by the time you apply for the critical language scholarship. You will be disqualified if you are a non-citizen or even if you have decided to stay in the United States permanently.
  • By the time you apply, you must have been in an approved US degree-granting program, whether as an undergraduate(bachelor’s) or graduate level(masters or professional degree)
  • The undergraduate or graduate program you are on when you apply must result in a degree.
  • You are only allowed to apply once for one language per summer; you will be considered ineligible if you apply more than once. 
  • If you have completed a CLS program once, you can reapply again for a second term, but if you have won the scholarship twice, you are not allowed to apply again unless you are applying for the virtual Institute. 
  • Also, if your degree is not from an approved university/college in the USA or anywhere in its jurisdictions, you will be disqualified. In other words, if you earn a degree award from a foreign country, you will not be eligible.
  • Before your CLS program, you must or must have been registered in a university/college in the US.
  • Before your CLS program, be sure to attend classes in your home university during the spring semester. This is very important because you will be asked to tender a signature from your registrar to confirm that you signed in during the spring semester.
  • Instances arise when you have to study abroad, probably for an internship program or take a leave of absence to focus on a particular course outside the United States of America.

 This may affect your eligibility, but you will be asked to tender your documents to confirm you were involved in these programs, and they will make decisions concerning that.

  • Suppose you are involved in any or either of the two scenarios presented above. In that case, one thing is very clear, and it’s that you must present a signed letter from the institution you attended in the US, confirming
  • your activities and stating your decision to reapply after your study abroad or internship season.
  • If you are not 18 years old or above by May 15th, you will not be eligible to apply for the Critical Language scholarship.
  • If you are an undergraduate by the beginning of the CLS, it is expected that you must have completed two semesters of study.

Course duration

How long or short your period of study will be is based on the language you are studying. Also, the timetable varies from time to time.

Course structure 

Critical Language Scholarship runs for an academic year, approximately 8-10 weeks of university-level studying.

This program is designed to cater to the needs of its recipient when it comes to language in different levels, backgrounds, and cultures.

The Critical Language Scholarship offers languages requiring you to have one or two years of knowledge in those languages before applying for the scholarship. Others do not require you to have any background knowledge about the particular language you aspire to learn.

You will receive formal classroom teaching for 20hours per week(approximately 5 hours per day). Then extra-classroom activities are designed to add to or back up all the classroom teachings.

The extra-classroom activities include face-to-face meetings with the native speaker of your target language; this is where you will learn how to produce their words and sentences.  

Cultural tours and excursions are other important extra classroom activities. Here, you will learn about your target country’s history, culture, political background, and daily life. All these are done to widen your horizon and be familiar with your target language.

Critical Language Scholarship Program agenda

The Critical Language Scholarship does commence with a two-day pre-conference orientation in Washington, D.C. After that, they will move you and other students to your location of intensive language study.

The period of language study includes 20 hours of classroom teaching per week and some extra-classroom activities, including cultural excursions, partner chat, visitation from your family members, film show, guest teaching, quiz, sports, etc.

There are some languages that if you chose any of them, you would be required to take a language vow; in other words, you are expected to speak and communicate with your target language at a particular point in time.

After you have completed all the activities in the program, you will go through a series of finalist assessments. This is done to confirm that you have instilled everything you have been taught throughout your time in the scholarship program.

Critical Language Scholarship Program management 

American Councils manage the Critical Language Scholarship Program for International Education, and the US Department of State licenses the awards.

Critical Language Scholarship Program Acceptance rate

The Critical Language Scholarship is among the most renowned and popular language scholarships in the United States of America. With many students applying each year, it has about an 8-9% acceptance rate. 

CLS Language levels 

The first level is the Beginning level. You are expected to start from this level if you don’t have previous knowledge of the target language or you have had less than an academic year to study the language.

The next is the Advanced Beginning Level. If you have not had less than a year of academic experience in the target language, then you can start from here.

The intermediate level indicates that you have had nothing less than two years of experience studying the target language.

The advanced level is for candidates that have had about 3years of academic experience studying the target language.

Critical Language Scholarship Awards

In Critical language scholarship, the cost of taking part in its foundation is sorted out. Other rewards include;

  1. Your cost of travelling within the US jurisdiction, whether home city, Washington, DC, travel cost are covered. Also, foreign travels between you and other students have been sorted out.
  2. Accommodation, board, course-related tours within the United States, visa fee, language handbook, and manuals, 
  3. All CLS admission fees for the scholarship activities.
  4. Cost for a compulsory pre-conference orientation in Washington, D.C.
  5. You will also get a US academic credit that will be issued through Bryn Mawr College.

Note that;

  • Critical Language Scholarship is not responsible for your US passport fees and 
  • The medical exam fee you will pay as a finalist.

Qualification criteria

Your qualification will be decided based on different criteria, one of which is your overall Excellence with more consideration for;

  • Your educational record and your ability to excel in meticulous educational settings. 
  • Your dedication to language learning. 
  • Your ability to interrelate between the selected language and career or professional goals. 
  • Your special contribution or insight concerning the Critical Language Scholarship.
  • Your ability to quickly adjust to a challenging program or different environment.

Application deadline 2023

The Critical Language Scholarship application for summer 2023 will open in September 2023.


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