*All information taken from the CLS website
The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers fully-funded summer language institutes for U.S. university students and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Scholarships are awarded for thirteen languages, including Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu. CLS is an overseas, group-based program that takes place each summer. Program sites, dates, and overseas institutional partners may vary from year to year.
Information for the most recent program year can be found in the institute profiles under the Languages tab.
The CLS Program institutes cover approximately one academic year of university-level language coursework during a seven - to ten-week program, and are designed to meet the needs of students from a variety of language levels and backgrounds. Some CLS institutes require one to two years of prior language study (or the equivalent), while others accept students with no prior knowledge of the language.
Formal classroom language instruction is provided for a minimum of 20 hours per week. Extracurricular activities are designed to supplement the formal curriculum, including regular one-on-one meetings with native speaker language partners for conversational practice, as well as cultural activities and excursions designed to expand students’ understanding of the history, politics, culture and daily life of their host country. Individual institute profiles under the Languages tab provide more information on program structure.
Program costs – airfare, tuition, room and board, cultural program expenses, overseas health benefits, and applicable visa fees – are fully covered for all participants. Participants receive a small stipend to cover incidental expenses and meals not provided by the program. The CLS Program provides undergraduate academic credit through Bryn Mawr College. Upon completion of the program, participants also receive a certified American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) score.
- All applicants must be U.S. citizens.*
- Applicants must be currently enrolled in a U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level.
- Current undergraduate students must have completed at least one year of general college course-work by program start date (one year is defined as two semesters or three quarters).
- Applicants must be in acceptable mental and physical health. Grantees will be required to submit a satisfactory Medical Information Form and Physician’s Statement.
- Applicants must be 18 years old by the beginning of the CLS Program.
- Please see the CLS Institute Language Levels for more information on language prerequisites for individual institutes.
Students in all disciplines, including business, engineering, law, medicine, sciences, and humanities are encouraged to apply
*Although the CLS Program will work with awarded students to secure a visa for the CLS institute host country, the program cannot be held responsible for other countries’ visa requirements and/or the denial of a student’s application for a visa. CLS awards are contingent upon the participant securing a host-country visa, and all awardees must meet deadlines and host country requirements set for obtaining a visa.
CLS candidates do not have to be endorsed by Olin. For information on the application process and requirements, click here.
Past Olin CLS Winners
Country of Study