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 fully-funded program held in country includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains equivalent to one year of college language instruction.

U.S. Citizens; Undergraduate or Graduate level--must be enrolled at time of application. All disciplines.

Deadline: Applications are due November 16, 2021 at 8:00pm Eastern/7 p.m. CST -- please contact IP grants for an advising appointment by mid-October

Duration: 8-10 Weeks (Summer Intensive Program)

CLS Application

Want help with your application?

International Programs has dedicated staff to give you tips on how to write a strong application. Make an appointment with Dr. Karen Wachsmuth by completing and returning the Preliminary Application Form to ip-grants@uiowa.edu.

Other resources

Eligible languages and levels

No prior study required: Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Korean, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu

One year of prior study: Arabic, Persian, Portuguese

Two years of prior study: Chinese, Japanese, Russian

Meet an Iowa CLS Winner

Critical Language Scholarship overview from Alex Bare, University of Iowa graduate. Alex’s success with CLS helped him win a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to serve as an English Teaching Assistant in Colombia. 

CLS in the News

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Critical Language Scholarship winner Marissa Schooley to study Mandarin this summer

Monday, April 4, 2022
International Programs
International studies and Chinese major Marissa Schooley of Allerton, Iowa, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Mandarin this summer.
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Critical Language Scholarship winner Lauren Philips to study Persian this summer

Tuesday, March 22, 2022
International Programs
University of Iowa international studies (international communications and Islamic & Middle Eastern studies) and French student Lauren Philips of Council Bluffs, Iowa, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Persian. 
Nitya Rayapati

Critical Language Scholarship winner Nitya Rayapati to study Urdu in India this summer

Monday, March 21, 2022
International Programs
University of Iowa graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop Nitya Rayapati of Austin Texas, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study abroad this summer for an intensive Urdu language program.
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Critical Language Scholarship winner Grant Welk to study Hindi in India this summer

Monday, March 14, 2022
International Programs
University of Iowa biochemistry student Grant Welk of Ames, Iowa, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study in India this summer for an intensive Hindi language program.
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Critical Language Scholarship winner Kyler Johnson to study Portuguese in Brazil

Tuesday, March 8, 2022
International Programs
University of Iowa English and creative writing student Kyler Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study in Florianópolis, Brazil, this summer for an intensive Portuguese language program.
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Critical Language Scholarship winner Lauren Salloum to study Arabic in Jordan this summer

Monday, March 7, 2022
International Programs
University of Iowa French and international studies student Lauren Salloum of West Des Moines, Iowa, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study in Jordan this summer for an intensive Arabic language program.
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Critical Language Scholarship winner Ryann Hubbart to study Arabic in Jordan this summer

Monday, March 7, 2022
International Programs
University of Iowa international studies and economics student Ryann Hubbart of Clinton, Iowa, has been awarded a 2022 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study in Amman, Jordan, this summer for an intensive Arabic language program.