Critical Language Scholarship (Various Destinations)


The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is an 8-10 week summer program created and funded by the US State Department in which participants go directly to a country in which the language is spoken to learn the target language.  It is open only to US citizens.  The program is meant to encourage students to study languages that are deemed critical to US national security and global prosperity.  The current 15 languages are:

Open to students at all language levels, including beginners

Azerbaijani, Bangla, Hindi, Indonesian, Punjabi, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu

One year prior study required

Arabic, Korean, Persian and Portuguese

Two years prior study required

Chinese, Japanese and Russian

The program involves morning classroom sessions and afternoon cultural excursions or meeting with a language partner.  Complete immersion in the language is the goal.  The course is equivalent to two semesters of university-level language courses.

Class Credit

Course credit received will be 8 hours from Bryn-Mawr College.  The JSU Registrar’s office will decide what credit to assign.  They may change the number of hours awarded at their discretion.


Students must enroll with the name listed on their passports.

If you do not have a passport, you must obtain one.  You can find more information on obtaining a passport on the United States Postal Service’s website page on passports

If you wish to enroll, you must notify the Study Abroad Office, who will provide you with further information on the application process.

If you are traveling to the destination designated as Level 3 and Level 4 by the Department of State, you must appeal to the International Travel Risk Committee by emailing The student will be responsible to appeal on time to meet any deadlines of cancellation. The student will be responsible to understand the cancellation and refund policies of CLS. In the event the program gets canceled for the safety and health of the participants, the participants will be responsible for any financial losses. 


The program covers nearly all costs, including airfare, accommodations, meals, ground transportation in the destination country, activities and classes.  The program does NOT cover your medical screening necessary for the application or miscellaneous spending money.  See the program website for further information.


The program itself runs during the summer and is dependent on the destination country, but generally from sometime in May to sometime in July or August.

Deadline to Apply

The deadline to apply is generally in October or November every year, for the following summer.


Program website: