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Critical Language Scholarship Program
Awarded for 8-10 weeks fully-funded overseas foreign language instruction and cultural enrichment experience in 15 critical need languages for US students in higher education.
Application Tips Webinar (2021 competition)
Deadline: November annually for language institute the following summer
Scholars are notified in March annually
Director, OSU National and Global Scholarships Advising
Hargobind Khalsa (2019) Punjabi
Miriam Lipton (2019) Russian
Brian Erickson (2019) Swahili
Chris Foertsch (2015) Indonesian
Camille Violet (2014, 2013) Bangla
Kimberly Kenny (2014) Chinese
Jenna Albert (2010) Korean
Sara Haines (2007) Arabic
Megan Rioux-Forker (2007) Arabic
Is preference given to people who have studied these languages?
For languages with no previous language experience requirement, no. However, two of the five primary selection criteria are: 1. Commitment to language learning, and 2. Connection between target language and career/academic goals. Therefore, to be a competitive applicant you need to demonstrate a commitment to learning your language of choice and to integrating that language into your future career/academic goals. See language requirements (0, 1, and 2 years of previous experience) here: https://clscholarship.org/languages
Where specifically in the given country would you go?
All programs have specific site locations, with anywhere from 1 - 3 locations per language. For some languages of study, such as Arabic, there is a site location in multiple countries. For other languages, such as Chinese, there are multiple sites within a single country (China, in this case). And for other languages, there is only one site available. You can see the site possibilities at this website: https://clscholarship.org/languages
What else do they look for that would convince them to pick one candidate over another?
Award recipients are selected on the basis of merit with consideration for: 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 Contributions to the CLS Program and program goals.
It is important to demonstrate in your essays that you are prepared for the intensive nature of the CLS program; that you have a strong interest in your language of study; that you have concrete plans to continue studying your language and to incorporate this language into your future career; and that you possess relevant characteristics such as maturity, self-awareness, adaptability, resilience, stamina (emotional and physical), the ability to work well in diverse group settings, and cultural sensitivity.