Recent News

CLS Spark

April 5, 2022

A fully funded program for virtual language study in Arabic, Chinese, and Russian

The U.S Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Spark Program is a pilot initiative providing virtual opportunities for U.S. undergraduate students to learn languages essential to America’s engagement with the world. CLS Spark provides American students the access and opportunity to start their language learning journeys, even when these critical languages may not be offered on their campuses. Selected participants will spend an academic year learning either Arabic, Chinese, or Russian through online classes and activities facilitated by native speakers at a host institution abroad.

The CLS Spark Program will be offered in academic year 2022 - 2023 with approximately 18 hours of virtual language instruction offered per month, as well as monthly cultural activities. Applications will open in April with a deadline of May 26, 2022.

Key Benefits:

  • Full scholarship covers all instruction and a $300 stipend

  • Online language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences over the course of two 11-week terms

  • Language gains certified with the widely recognized ACTFL OPI test

  • Automatic consideration as CLS Program semifinalists for the summer overseas

A program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, CLS Spark is
part of a U.S. government initiative to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. Instruction will be provided by faculty and staff at host institutions located abroad in countries where these languages are commonly spoken. With inclusive support provided by CLS Program staff, students will improve their command of all four modalities in these languages (listening, speaking, reading, writing), participate in cultural activities once a month, and make connections with members of the host country’s community and their peers across the U.S.