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Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program A program of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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Presentation on theme: "Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program A program of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program A program of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

2 Program objective: Increase the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages Launched in 2006 Target group: U.S. citizen undergraduate and graduate students About 5,000 applications submitted and approximately 600 scholarships awarded in 2013 Program Overview

3 What is CLS? Group-based summer program o June through mid-August o About 10 to 40 CLS participants live and study at each overseas institute location Intensive study o One year of college language instruction in 7-10 weeks o 20 hours per week of classroom study o Language partner and cultural program Not a research, independent study, or internship program

4 Thirteen Languages Offered

5 Institute Locations 2013 Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Russia, South Korea, Tajikistan, and Turkey.

6 Why Should You Apply? Make impressive gains in language proficiency Develop cultural expertise and intercultural skills Gain experience to help you pursue future academic and professional goals

7 CLS Program Language Gains

8 Eligibility Requirements U.S. citizen Enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in U.S.-based university degree program at time of application; 18 years old and have completed at least first year of college-level study by beginning of CLS Program; All backgrounds/disciplines are eligible; Some programs require previous language study; Participation is contingent on certification of acceptable physical and mental health and on securing a visa to the host country.

9 Program Benefits Domestic travel to/from Washington for pre-departure orientation (required) International travel to/from host country Applicable visa fees Group-based intensive language instruction Housing and meals Cultural excursions and activities in host country U.S. academic credit through Bryn Mawr College

10 Participant Diversity Snapshot (2013) 11% are STEM majors 30% identify as students of color Students come from public and private institutions, community colleges, and minority- serving institutions All 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico represented Undergraduate students (68%); graduate students (32%) Women (57%); Men (43%)

11 Application Process Application Due November 15, 2013 Online application at Apply for one language only Application is for CLS language – not a specific country or site Unofficial transcripts Two letters of recommendation Language evaluation form Applicants at the beginning level do not need to submit this Essays

12 Key Elements of a Successful Application Make a clear connection between target language and academic/career plans. Talk about: Importance of the language to your goals; Plans to continue studying and using the language. Make it clear you can succeed in an intensive, group-based program. Show that you are: Ready for intensive study; Ready for a group-based program with a very busy schedule; Culturally adaptable and mature. Get good letters of recommendation. Letters from faculty or instructors are preferred. Include language reference, if above beginning level Ask early! Be polite!

13 Resources for Your Application Start your application early, and seek on-campus resources to help you improve your essays: Office of Grants, Scholarships, or Fellowships Study Abroad or International Education office Writing tutor Academic advisor, language instructor or other faculty member Trade proofreading duties with a friend!

14 Selection Timeline November 15, 2013 Application deadline 1 st round of selection Each application read by two independent readers Notification of advancement in mid- January 2 nd round of selection Selection panels convene in Washington, D.C. in early February Final approval by U.S. Department of State February/March Finalists and alternates are notified Must accept award by mid-late March

15 Stay Connected with CLS Website: Facebook: Twitter: @CLSscholarship YouTube: Phone: (202) 833-7522 Email: Other State Department programs:

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