CCIE – California Colleges for International Education

CLS Program Application

The application for the U. S. Department of State’s 2024 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program and its virtual initiative, CLS Spark is open and will close on Tuesday, November 14 at 8 PM ET. 

We welcome students to apply to learn a critical language on a funded virtual or overseas summer program. The application is available at

The CLS Program provides intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. Depending on language and level, U.S. students can either apply for the overseas CLS Program or its virtual initiative, CLS Spark. The CLS Program offers in-person cohort-based programs at partner institutions abroad that provide instruction at various levels for U.S. graduate and undergraduate students in 13 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.  

The CLS Program, through its CLS Spark initiative, provides beginner-level virtual instruction for Arabic, Chinese, and Russian for competitively selected U.S. undergraduate students whose home campuses do not offer these languages. More information on eligibility is available at: 

The CLS Program will host webinars, Q&A sessions, and alumni panels for students and advisors throughout the fall. A full calendar with these events and corresponding registration links is available at: 

The CLS Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, with funding provided by the U.S. Government and supported in its implementation by American Councils for International Education. It is part of a wider government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security, economic prosperity, engagement with the world.  

If you have any questions, please contact the CLS Program team at: