Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program for American Students 2019 (Fully-funded)

Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program for American Students 2019 (Fully-funded)

Deadline: November 27, 2018

Applications for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program 2019 are now open. The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students.

With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.

Most languages offered by the CLS Program do not require applicants to have any experience studying critical languages. The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, and from a wide range of fields of study and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of the United States. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits. Please note that CLS is an intensive group-based language program.


The CLS Program covers most of the costs of participating in its overseas institutes, including:

  • International and domestic travel between the student’s U.S. home city, Washington, D.C., and the CLS Program site
  • Visa application fees
  • Costs associated with the mandatory pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C.
  • Language instruction, room, board, program-sponsored travel within the host country
  • All entrance fees for program activities
  • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) language assessments
  • U.S. academic credit issued through Bryn Mawr College.

The following expenses will not be covered by the CLS Program:

  • U.S. passport fees; and
  • The cost of medical exams and any follow-up visits necessary to pass the medical review process, as determined by the CLS Program.


  • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application;
    • Non-citizens including Permanent Residents are not eligible, even if they anticipate naturalization by the beginning of the program;
  • Be enrolled in an accredited U.S. degree-granting program at the undergraduate (associate’s, bachelor’s) or graduate (master’s, doctoral, professional degree) level at the time of your application;
    • Your program must result in a degree. Applicants who are taking stand-alone or continuing education classes are not eligible;
    • Your institution must be an accredited U.S. institution. Students earning degrees at foreign institutions that are not based in the U.S. or its territories are not eligible, even if those institutions are accredited by a recognized U.S. accrediting agency;
    • You must be enrolled at this institution in the fall term of 2018. Limited exceptions apply; please read the following information carefully:
      • If you are not taking classes at your home institution in the fall term, please confirm that you are, in fact, enrolled. Institutions have different requirements to maintain enrollment status and you will be required to provide a signed letter from your registrar stating that you were enrolled during the fall term.
      • If you are taking a leave of absence to participate in an organized term- or year-long study abroad program, or to participate in a substantive internship program, you may request an exception to the enrollments requirement. Exceptions may only be granted in these two cases, and decisions will be made on a case by case basis.
      • In either case, you must submit a signed letter from your home college or university in the U.S. explaining your situation and your intention to re-enroll following the completion of your study abroad or internship program. You must also submit documentation from the program provider explaining the opportunity and confirming your participation. This documentation may be submitted to American Councils by email [email protected]
    • You must successfully complete academic requirements for the fall term in order to remain eligible for the CLS Program. Students who withdraw or fail to maintain a passing grade average are not eligible to participate in the program
  • Be at least 18 years old by May 15, 2019;
  • If in an undergraduate program (bachelor’s or associate’s), complete at least one full-time equivalent year of study (two semesters or three quarters) by the beginning of the CLS Program in summer 2019;
  • You may only apply once, for one language program, each summer. Applicants who submit multiple applications will be considered ineligible;
  • Participation is limited to a total of two CLS awards for any individual. Applicants who have been selected for and participated in the CLS Program one time can apply for a second award. Applicants who have successfully completed the CLS Program two or more times are not eligible to apply and participate again.

Selection Process

Award recipients are selected on the basis of merit, with consideration for the following:

  • Academic record and potential to succeed in a rigorous academic setting;
  • Commitment to language learning;
  • Connection between target language and career/academic goals;
  • Ability to adapt to an intensive program and a challenging cultural environment; and
  • Contribution to the CLS Program and program goals


Your completed application to the CLS Program will consist of an application form, two references, and uploaded copies of your unofficial transcript(s). They strongly recommend online submission of all required application materials for the CLS Program whenever possible.

To start an application, first enter the required information under “Create New Account” here. Create a password that you will remember. After you click on “Create New Account” you will be sent a verification email to activate your account. You may return as many times as necessary before submitting your application by the deadline.

For more information, visit CLS Program.