Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program offers fully-funded summer language institutes for U.S. university students in 13 critical foreign languages. Working to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages, students of diverse disciplines and majors are encouraged to apply. Participants learn to apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. The selection process is administered by American Councils for International Education with awards approved by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Critical Language Scholarship Program website

Success Stories

Four students selected for 2015 Critical Language Scholarship program

Four Grand Valley students have been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program to study high-demand languages.

The program provides U.S. students with seven to 10 weeks of intensive language training in Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu languages in 13 countries where these languages are spoken. 

The CLS Program provides fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to increase language fluency and cultural competency. CLS Program participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers. 

The selected Grand Valley students for 2015 include:

irada

Irada Chouduri, of Wyoming, will study Bengali in Dhaka, Bengladesh. She is a sophomore biomedical sciences major and member of the Frederik  Meijer Honors College.

Kyle

Kyle Meppelink, of Holland, will study Arabic in Meknes, Morocco. He is a senior international relations major and member of the Frederik Meijer Honors College.

Meagan

Meagan Roche, of Howell, will study Arabic in Tangier, Morocco. She is a senior anthropology major and member of the Frederik Meijer Honors College.

David

David Leestma, of Grand Rapids, will study at the Noor Majan Training Institute (NMTI) in Ibri, Oman. He is a senior international relations major.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. Selected finalists for the 2015 CLS Program hail from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia and represent more than 200 institutions of higher education from across the U.S., including public and private universities, liberal arts colleges, minority-serving institutions and community colleges.


Previous CLS Finalists

Leestma

Grand Valley student selected for Critical Language Scholarship 

Grand Valley student and Grand Rapids native David Leestma has been selected to participate in the nationally competitive 2014 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program for intensive summer language study. An international relations major with Arabic and Middle East studies minors, Leestma will further hone his Arabic language skills while abroad.

Grand Valley alumnus Seth Price has been selected for the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program to study Arabic in Morocco during the summer of 2014.

 

McMahan

Alumna to Study Arabic With State Department Scholarship 

Grand Valley State University alumna Aubrey McMahan has been selected for a prestigious nationally competitive scholarship offered through the U.S. Department of State. McMahan will spend summer 2013 in Oman studying Arabic through the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship. She is one of approximately 600 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who earned a scholarship from the CLS program in 2013. As part of the program, McMahan will spend between seven and 10 weeks in intensive language institutes in Oman.

Sandra

Grand Valley grad receives U.S. Department of State Scholarship 

Recent Grand Valley graduate Sandra Braden has won a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship issued by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Braden is among 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to receive a scholarship, from more than 5,200 applications from all 50 states and a wide range of academic disciplines.