Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) for Intensive Summer Institutes is a program of the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers and the American Councils for International Education. The CLS Program offers intensive summer institutes overseas to study the languages of Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/ Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu.

Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen
  • Completed at least one year (two semesters) of under¬graduate college coursework by program start date.
  • Currently enrolled in a U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
  • See program details on website for more information on language prerequisites for individual institutes.
  • 18 years of age or older.
  • Be in acceptable mental and physical health.

General Information

Founded in 1981, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers is a private, not-for-profit federation of independent overseas research centers that promote advanced research, particularly in the humanities and social sciences, with focus on the conservation and recording of cultural heritage and the understanding and interpretation of modern societies. The centers are the primary vehicle through which American scholars carry out research vital to our understanding of and intersection with other cultures.

The CLS Program provides fully funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences for seven to 10 weeks for U.S. citizen undergraduates, master’s students, and Ph.D. students.

Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Former CLS participants have applied with various academic backgrounds, including business, engineering, law, science, medicine, social sciences, and humanities. The CLS Program does not have any government service requirement upon completion; however, it is expected that participants will continue their language study beyond the scholarship period and later apply their critical language skills in their future academic and professional careers.

Application Timeline

November 23, 2015  
Completed application and required documentation must be submitted to the CLS.

Mid-February 2016 
Final selection announced