Critical Language Scholarship Program provides intensive foreign language study

Chelsey Milkovich

Student interest to study abroad in certain areas of the world has shifted because of language barriers leaving students discouraged from education in some overseas countries. However, the Office of Global Education will now provide a new scholarship program for students interested in courses in intensive language programs to break such barriers. Ediz Kaykayoglu, assistant director of education abroad, said the Critical Language Scholarship Program is a program that OGE is strongly promoting to students.

Kaykayoglu said the Critical Language Scholarship Program is an intensive language program for overseas studies that helps focus on the U.S. government’s efforts to expand the number of American’s studying and becoming fluent in foreign languages. CLS is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“The program’s purpose is to give U.S. students the chance to study at over twenty sites abroad, covering the equivalent of a full year of college-level language study in thirteen critical languages,” Kaykayoglu said, “We hope this program will become more popular because we want more students to be fluent in more languages.”

Possible institution locations include Bangladesh, China, India, Jordan, Morocco and Turkey with offered languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindu, Persian and Turkish.

Nick Vasiloff, study abroad and exchange student advisor, said he believes that this program can be extremely academically beneficial to students while also offering many grant benefits after being accepted.

“Full airfare, tuition, room and board, insurance and cultural excursion costs are all included in the scholarship as well as a small stipend for the student,” Vasiloff said.

Mandatory pre-departure orientation in Washington D.C., visa fees and the seven to 10 weeks of group-based intensive language instruction will also be covered by the CLS program.

Vasiloff said he believes students who take advantage of opportunities such as the Critical Language Scholarship program will have an upper hand in the job market.

“Given the fact that most students in Europe and Asia are fluent or proficient in at least two or three languages, I believe that American students must gain proficiency in another language in order to compete in the selective and highly competitive internship and job market,” Vasiloff said.

International Student and Scholar advisor Ryan Fleming said he believes becoming fluent in a different language can help you learn about different cultures as well as learning more about yourself.

“I believe that foreign language study provides a powerful cultural insight into other societies and ways of life, and paradoxically teaches you a lot about the peculiarities own language and culture.”

Students interested in the Critical Language Scholarship Program can visit the Office of Global Education for more information.  For application deadlines check out

Contact Chelsey Milkovich at [email protected].