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Critical Language Scholarship 2022 Applicants


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Hey everyone! The first thread I followed on GradCafe was the CLS 2021 applicants page, so hello again to anyone from there!

Who's thinking of applying now, and for what languages? I'll be reapplying for Russian, any thoughts on being sent abroad? I know the Korean students this past summer were able to go, but I'm not holding my breath that Russian students will go this upcoming summer.

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On 10/30/2021 at 5:22 PM, Msf1997 said:

I'm applying for advanced Japanese. This is my last year I'm eligible and I was successful with Boren, so hopefully this all pans out and travel will happen in Summer. *fingers crossed*

I'm applying for Japanese as well! This may also be the last year I'm elligble so fingers crossed that it works for us. It seems Japan is now allowing students into the country, so it may be a good sign for travel.  

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Exciting! This is the last year I'm eligible too, and I'm applying for advanced (maybe intermediate) Russian. I hope that you two are able to go in-person, because I'm pretty doubtful Russian will go abroad based on the pandemic situation. Best of luck to you guys!! Let me know how it goes when we hear about semifinalists in January!

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4 hours ago, ohdunk said:

Exciting! This is the last year I'm eligible too, and I'm applying for advanced (maybe intermediate) Russian. I hope that you two are able to go in-person, because I'm pretty doubtful Russian will go abroad based on the pandemic situation. Best of luck to you guys!! Let me know how it goes when we hear about semifinalists in January!

Thanks, best of luck to you as well!

Are you planning on still doing the program, if Russian is online? Personally, I don't want to do a "study abroad" without being able to actually go to Japan, which is why I turned down a study abroad program I applied to last year that went all-online with no travel being allowed. However, since CLS is more prestigious, perhaps it will be more worth it even if it is all online.

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21 hours ago, clairvoux said:

Thanks, best of luck to you as well!

Are you planning on still doing the program, if Russian is online? Personally, I don't want to do a "study abroad" without being able to actually go to Japan, which is why I turned down a study abroad program I applied to last year that went all-online with no travel being allowed. However, since CLS is more prestigious, perhaps it will be more worth it even if it is all online.

Honestly, I'd say it's worth it! I did CLS Russian online last summer and it was really worthwhile. I improved by two or three ACFTL OPI levels and my cohort was really fun. Plus, there are some pretty nice perks for alumni, including job sites and networking opportunities. Unless you're offered a program for Japanese going in-person, I'd still do the online CLS Japanese. Have you submitted your application yet?

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34 minutes ago, ohdunk said:

Honestly, I'd say it's worth it! I did CLS Russian online last summer and it was really worthwhile. I improved by two or three ACFTL OPI levels and my cohort was really fun. Plus, there are some pretty nice perks for alumni, including job sites and networking opportunities. Unless you're offered a program for Japanese going in-person, I'd still do the online CLS Japanese. Have you submitted your application yet?

That's amazing. Congrats on your progress! If I could still improve by one or two whole JLPT levels in Japanese, even with the online program, then I would definitely still consider it. Did the online program still give you a "host family"? 😂

Yes, I submitted it on Saturday! I thought I'd try to get one or two more revisions for my essays in, just in case, but there was no one available from the Writing Center at my school over the weekend and I had already asked alot of different people to check it, including one of them who was a previous recipient from my school. I got alot of great feedback which I've worked really hard to implement, so I figured they should be good to go now. These essays have been some of the most difficult, frustrating things I've written so I can only hope it'll be worth it now.  🤞

 

 

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On 11/16/2021 at 1:10 PM, clairvoux said:

That's amazing. Congrats on your progress! If I could still improve by one or two whole JLPT levels in Japanese, even with the online program, then I would definitely still consider it. Did the online program still give you a "host family"? 😂

Yes, I submitted it on Saturday! I thought I'd try to get one or two more revisions for my essays in, just in case, but there was no one available from the Writing Center at my school over the weekend and I had already asked alot of different people to check it, including one of them who was a previous recipient from my school. I got alot of great feedback which I've worked really hard to implement, so I figured they should be good to go now. These essays have been some of the most difficult, frustrating things I've written so I can only hope it'll be worth it now.  🤞

 

 

We didn't get host families officially, but my language partner introduced me to several of her family members and friends, so I did have opportunities to connect with people! The essays definitely are a bit of a challenge, even after writing them once. There's so much to say and so little space to say it. It sounds like you were careful with your planning, though, so I'm sure you wrote some great stuff! Hopefully you get it- be sure to let me know about semifinals in January! Hoping for good news for all of us!

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16 hours ago, ohdunk said:

We didn't get host families officially, but my language partner introduced me to several of her family members and friends, so I did have opportunities to connect with people! The essays definitely are a bit of a challenge, even after writing them once. There's so much to say and so little space to say it. It sounds like you were careful with your planning, though, so I'm sure you wrote some great stuff! Hopefully you get it- be sure to let me know about semifinals in January! Hoping for good news for all of us!

Wonderful! I've heard CLS places very strict limits on the amount of English you can speak with your language partner and/or host family. Is that true? If so, that sounds great for rapid language gains. 

That's so true. Originally, I had alot more I wanted to include in my essays but feel like I had to leave out alot of it due to the word limit (Also, being told many parts didn't adequately answer or were relevant enough to the question, so I rewrote some of them several times. 😢) . Well, better to have alot to say than too little though!

Of course. I'll report back here when semi-finalist results start coming out. Thank you, hoping good news for all of us as well!

Edited by clairvoux
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18 hours ago, CoffeeCatsCorgis said:

I'm also applying for advanced Russian! This is my first year applying for this program and I'm trying to remain hopeful that we will be in person. Maybe that's a mistake, lol. If CLS is not in person, I might try for a summer intensive in the US like Indiana or Bryn Mawr. They're just so expensive!

Best of luck to you, let me know what you hear in January! As for alternatives, I've applied for Middlebury's summer language intensive, and I'm applying for ASU's Critical Language Institute soon. CLI tends to be a little more affordable than Middlebury, but I'm fairly certain CLI is online. I'll look into those summer intensives too! Hopefully we both get that sweet CLS free ride, though :)

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19 hours ago, clairvoux said:

Wonderful! I've heard CLS places very strict limits on the amount of English you can speak with your language partner and/or host family. Is that true? If so, that sounds great for rapid language gains. 

That's so true. Originally, I had alot more I wanted to include in my essays but feel like I had to leave out alot of it due to the word limit (Also, being told many parts didn't adequately answer or were relevant enough to the question, so I rewrote some of them several times. 😢) . Well, better to have alot to say than too little though!

Of course. I'll report back here when semi-finalist results start coming out. Thank you, hoping good news for all of us as well!

Yeah, students agree not to speak any English with program people for the duration of the summer. Normally when students go abroad there's no English whatsoever, but for the online program they expect you'll need English for, you know, living in the US. It was tough for me to balance all the expectations of the essays as well- hopefully the readers can tell that we had more to say! It sounds like you got a lot of feedback, so I think you'll be fine:)

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On 11/27/2021 at 5:07 AM, Msf1997 said:

Are there any statistics for previous year's acceptance rates (per country)?

I haven't seen any unfortunately, I've only seen information about how many sites were available per language. Honestly I didn't really get an impression of some languages being more competitive than others, so I can't really say. Last summer Japanese only had one program site, meaning it was probably a bit more competitive than some others. We don't know how many sites they'll have this year, though, so there's really no way to say. Hopefully you'll get good news in January!

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3 hours ago, ohdunk said:

I haven't seen any unfortunately, I've only seen information about how many sites were available per language. Honestly I didn't really get an impression of some languages being more competitive than others, so I can't really say. Last summer Japanese only had one program site, meaning it was probably a bit more competitive than some others. We don't know how many sites they'll have this year, though, so there's really no way to say. Hopefully you'll get good news in January!

I don't think they ever release acceptance rates per country. You can look at the CLS website to see how many language institutes each language has had over the years. Japanese has pretty much always been one. And I can say with almost 100% certainty next year it will be Okayama University again (it is a 5 year contract as far as I know). 
The number of institutes doesn't really give you a whole picture anyway though. Take a look at this. Both Japanese and Azerbaijani had just one institute, but 26 vs 6 participant spots. And I don't know for sure, but I think it's safe to speculate that there are a lot more applicants for one Japanese spot than for one Azerbaijani spot. 
 

I haven't been able to find the more recent counterparts to this document, but at least during Covid, it seems that the exact number of participants is not determined in advance. When I was a finalist last year, around April or May our program officer told me that the number wouldn't be determined until pretty close to the program start date. I'm guessing because people might pull out or be promoted at the last minute and they can be much more flexible with this in the online format.

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11 hours ago, nessaragu said:

Hello!! I’m reapplying for the 2022 Korean program. I’m hoping things will be more optimistic for next summer so that’ll be in-person without travel restrictions. I hope we all get good news in January!

Nice! Were you not at the Gwangju site last summer then? If I recall correctly students at that site went in-person.

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1 hour ago, nessaragu said:

Yes, I was in Gwangju! I meant travel restrictions as in we were not allowed to leave Gwangju, unfortunately. Missed out on a lot of great opportunities.

Wow! Unfortunate that your experience was a little stunted, but definitely lucky that you got to actually go! I improved a lot from my zoom sessions, but I imagine it would have been a much better experience to go in-person. Hopefully more sites get to actually host students this year!

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According to the previous thread:

Semifinalist notifications:

2021: Jan 19 (T)

2020: Jan 13 (M)

2019: Jan 16 (W)

2018: Jan 16 (T)

2017: Jan 18 (W)

2016: Jan 28 (Th)

2015: Jan 13 (T)

Finalist notifications:

2021: Mar 3 (43 days later)

2020: Feb 27 (Th) (45 days later)

2019: Feb 28 (Th) (43 days later)

2018: Mar 1 (Th) (44 days later)

2017: Mar 7 (T) (28 days later)

2016: Mar 8 (T) (39 days later)

2015: Feb 26 (Th) (44 days later)

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Hopefully we'll hear this week! I'm inclined to believe they'll come out next week, but maybe they'll surprise us. Last year there was no information on in-person/online with the semifinalist notifications, so we'll probably be left to speculate some more! Best of luck to everyone in the coming weeks:) 

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Do you all think I would be a competivie applicant for Arabic in 2023?

After graduating from college and taking two years off to teach English to refugees, I'm about to start an MA in Applied Linguistics at a state school. I took 3 formal semesters of Arabic in college and 2 at a local Arab cultural center since then. I aspire to use my language skills to better communicate with my future Arabic-speaking students, as well as possibly start another refugee-serving nonprofit.

I don't have any impressive fellowships/academic society leadership positions on my resume. Plus, I aspire to be an ESOL teacher/program leader/curriculum developer, not work for the state department. Will these factors preclude me from recieving the CLS for Arabic? I know how competitive it is, and when applying for Fulbright, I got the sense that these state dept programs may favor those with national honors and political ambitions. I do have extensive, relevant volunteer experience (with refugees and at the Arab cultural center), if that helps.

Thanks!

Edited by SpearmintFeldmore
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