Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) is an immersive, eight to ten-week summer study abroad institute for American university students to learn one of fourteen languages. The programs also provide opportunities for social interaction and development of intercultural fluency, essential to U.S. national security and economic prosperity.

CLS Spark, an initiative of the CLS Program, provides opportunities for American undergraduate college and university students to study Arabic, Chinese, and Russian virtually. 

At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, CLS is considered an unlisted, for-credit study abroad program, which requires approval from the UNL Office of Global Experiences before travel. Critical Language Scholarship applicants are supported by a partnership between the Office of Global Experiences and the Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships.

2022 Scholar Rachael Lange studied Russian in Tibilisi, Georgia.

2023 Scholar Ahmed Alsayid studied Turkish in Ankara, Turkey.

Attend a 30-minute interactive workshop to plan your study abroad adventure.

Browse the available languages and host countries.

Meet with a Global Experiences Advisor for travel logistics and unlisted for-credit program guidance.

CLS applicants write 4 short essays:

  • Citizen Diplomacy & Mutual Understanding
  • Preparation for the CLS Program
  • Commitment to Language Study
  • Personal Statement

Spark applicants write 4 short essays:

  • Motivation & Commitment
  • Experience
  • Access to Language Learning Opportunities

Discuss essay drafts with a Fellowships Advisor.

UNL typically has 1 to 5 CLS participants each summer!