Critical Language Scholarships for Undergraduates and Graduates

 CLS Application Deadline: November 15, 2017                                                                                 

If you are applying, please schedule a meeting with Karen Wachsmuth ( in order to begin the application process. Please join us for current essay group sessions as well beginning Oct. 26. Please contact Karen for more information.

The Critical Language Scholarship Program provides fully-funded group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment activities overseas each summer for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students.
Click here to see flyer.

CLS Program languages include Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, and Urdu. Levels available for each language are as follows:

  • Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Turkish, or Urdu: Beginning, intermediate or advanced level
  • Arabic or Persian: Advanced beginning, intermediate or advanced level
  • Chinese, Japanese, or Russian: Intermediate or advanced level

Onalee Yousey, a 2013 UI graduate, studied in Morocco through the CLS program. Watch a video about Onalee’s experience!

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.

The CLS Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

For additional information, visit the Critical Language Scholarship website or view the Critical Language Scholarship powerpoint.


CLS Website
CLS Facebook Page

View winning CLS essays from UI students at the International Programs Proposal Library. Your Hawk ID is required to view essays. Samples of successful essays are also available in hard copies at Academic Programs and Services, 1111 UCC.

Application Process

Please contact Karen Wachsmuth ( for more information. Applicants should make an appointment by October 15th with Karen Wachsmuth to begin the application process.