Critical Language Scholarship


The Critical Language Scholarship Program, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, seeks to expand dramatically the number of Americans studying and mastering critical need foreign languages by providing American undergraduate and graduate students with group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences overseas. The summer programs are fully funded and last 7 – 10 weeks.


  • U.S. citizen
  • Current undergraduate or graduate student
  • 18 years of age or older
  • Fulfill language requirements (varies by language; guidance here)
  • Intend to continue language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply critical language skills in future professional careers

Application Materials: 

  • A completed application
  • Short essays on resilience, preparation, citizen diplomacy, and commitment to language study (word limit varies)
  • Statement of purpose (500 words)
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Curriculum vitae or resume
  • Transcript

Application Procedure:

National Application Deadline - November 14, 2023

Applications must be submitted directly using the online application system.

Year at Time of Application: 
First-Year Student, Sophomore, Junior, Senior or Beyond, Grad Student
Duration of Award: 
No Preference
Direct Submission
Area of Interest: 
Agricultural Sciences, Architecture, Business, Communications and Journalism, Education, Engineering, Environmental and Geosciences, Life Sciences, Humanities, Information Technology and Computer Science, International Relations Political Science and Law, Mathematics, Music, Nursing and Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Statistics, Visual and Performing Arts
Earliest Application Deadline: 
Sept. – Dec.
Penn-State Sponsored: 
Fellowship Components: 
Language Learning