The Critical Languages Institute (CLI), Arizona State University

Founded in 1991 as a boutique program for ASU graduate students studying Macedonian, the CLI has evolved into one of the largest summer training facilities in the U.S. for less commonly taught languages, offering courses in 9 languages at up to 5 levels to over 150 students each summer.


The signature of the CLI are its hybrid courses, where classes are conducted in two segments, a 7-week course on the ASU campus and an optional 4-week overseas program. CLI instruction is proficiency-oriented and practical. Curricula in Arizona are designed to prepare students to interact confidently and appropriately overseas, while simultaneously improving their grammatical accuracy and formal mastery of the language. Overseas courses are designed to review and expand on material covered in the U.S.-based segment, while at the same time providing additional cultural exposure in an immersion environment.


CLI-Arizona students are encouraged to take advantage of the Institute's jobs and grants program, which offers presentations on grant writing and job-hunting, one-on-one sessions for students applying for grants and/or positions, and visits from government and private recruiters. In recent years, roughly 1 CLI participant in 7 has gone on to receive Fulbright, Boren, or other competitive study abroad funding.


In both Arizona and overseas, intensive language classes are combined with cultural activities and skill-building programming. Students in Arizona are encouraged to live in language-segregated housing. Students overseas live in host families wherever possible.


Several of CLI's overseas programs include volunteer service opportunities or internships. These programs provide students an opportunity to apply their language skills in a hands-on setting. Returning students regularly cite their service experience as a highlight of their time abroad. Examples of service programs include: serving as camp counselors in a school for gifted children in Russia, working with disadvantaged children in Bosnia and Armenia, and participating in public performances in Sarajevo. These activities are arranged and supervised by CLI overseas staff.


It can be tricky to sort through the options, so please do not hesitate to contact us for help choosing and applying for any of the CLI programs.

Languages offered: Albanian, Armenian, B/C/S, Hewbrew, Macedonian, Persian, Polish, Russian, Tatar, Turkish, and Uzbek.


For more information, please visit the CLI's website.