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MENA Languages Students are Eligible for the Critical Language Scholarship

October 7, 2022

The highly selective Critical Language Scholarship ("CLS") Program is an immersive summer opportunity for American students to learn one of 14 languages deemed essential to America's engagement in the world. The Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State and it is supported by the Americal Councils for International Education.  

Students of three of the MENA Languages -- Arabic, Persian, and Turkish -- are eligible for the Program. The Program is designed to promote rapid language gains and essential intercultural fluency in regions that are critical to United States national security and economic prosperity. The recipients receive eight to ten weeks of learning at an intensive study abroad institute. 

The 2023 application process is now underway through November 15, and interested Northwestern University students should engage with NU's designated CLS advisors: Amy Kehoe, Associate Director for Global Education, Office of Fellowships; and Ihnhee Kim, Associate Professor of Instruction, Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.  The CLS recipients are selected based on academic record, potential to succeed in a rigorous academic setting, and commitment to language learning, among other criteria. 

In the past fifteen years, over 35 of NU's Arabic, Persian, and Turkish language students have been selected to the Program and they have studied in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Takikistan, Turkey, and Yemen. CLS alumni are expected to use the studied language in future academic studies and in their professional careers, where our students have pursued success in government, academia, business, public health, non-profit organizations, law, and other fields.