Four Arts & Sciences undergraduates selected for the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship Program

Four Arts & Sciences students have been selected for the 2021 U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program. Lucy Meigs ’22 and Grethe Andersen ’23 were chosen for the Swahili program, and Paige Lockwood ’21 and Julia Blanchard ’24 were chosen for the Chinese program.

The CLS Program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. In this fully funded program, U.S. undergraduate and graduate students spend eight to ten weeks of the summer studying one of 15 critical languages through intensive instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences developed in partnership with local institutions. CLS scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the program and apply critical language skills in their future careers.

John Milstead, the international scholarship and fellowship advisor in the Office of Overseas Programs, who works with students applying for the CLS Program, said that students often hone their applications over several annual cycles. "Only about 10 percent of applicants to the CLS Program are selected. Especially when you consider that undergraduate students are competing against graduate students, it’s a real testament to our students that they went up against some of the best applicants out there and were successful," Milstead said. Roughly 700 students from U.S. colleges and universities were selected for the highly competitive program in 2021.

While the CLS Program normally involves travel to areas of the world where the program language is spoken, the majority of the CLS institutes in 2021 are being offered as virtual programs.