Excerpt: U.S. Dept. of State press release

CLS_LogoThree Smith students were recently awarded Critical Language Scholarships (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State to support their intenstive summer study of critical languages.

They are: Breanna Lindo ’14, who will study Korean in South Korea; Katey Pillars ’11 and Sarah Tucker ’13, both of whom will study Russian in Russia.

The students are among the approximately 575 U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s CLS Program in 2011 to study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Turkish, or Urdu languages. U.S. students will spend seven to 10 weeks in intensive language institutes this summer in 14 countries where these languages are spoken. The CLS Program provides fully-funded, group-based intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences. 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 2011 CLS Program received over 5,200 applications. Representing all 50 states, students from a range of academic disciplines and U.S. colleges and universities were selected for scholarships in 2011 through a merit-based selection process.

The U.S. Department of State launched the Critical Language Scholarships for Intensive Summer Institutes in 2006 to increase opportunities for American students to study critical-need languages overseas. The program is part of a wider U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical languages.

CLS Program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The CLS Program is administered by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and American Councils for International Education.