Program Assistant, Critical Language Scholarship Program

FLSA Status: Non-exempt

Pay Band: 2 Assistant/Associate



Based in Washington, DC, the Program Assistant position for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program assists in the recruitment and selection of applicants and the administration of intensive overseas summer language institutes for approximately 550 U.S. graduate and undergraduate students. Responsibilities include assisting with a variety of program logistics and clerical tasks, and responding to inquiries for a program that receives approximately 6,000 applications per year.


The CLS Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. Participants are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship period, and later apply their critical language skills in their future professional careers.


The position will require close attention to detail, the ability to handle multiple tasks and work independently, and a readiness to communicate with diverse groups of people. The Program Assistant will work closely with a dedicated team of CLS staff members and report to the CLS Program Manager. While organizational skills and attention to detail will be an important plus for any candidate, experience and interest in study abroad and international education is also important. Some travel may be required.



  • Process and maintain applications and files;
  • Respond to a high volume of inquiries;
  • Track incoming documents;
  • Assist in the preparation and distribution of application data to reviewers;
  • Provide logistical support for meetings and events;
  • Facilitate processing of travel visas;
  • Make arrangements for domestic and international travel;
  • Assist in pre-departure orientation event planning, set up;
  • Participate in program outreach activities, including occasionally giving presentations;
  • Assist in the administration of the CLS Program’s social media properties, including the creation of written content and graphics;
  • Assist in the administration of alumni follow-on events and activities;
  • Make arrangements for webinars and conference events;
  • Process invoices, check requests and payments;  
  • Assist in maintaining and updating participant and alumni database;
  • Compile data and materials for grant proposals, reports and mailings;
  • Provide support for CLS staff based in Washington, D.C.; and
  • Additional duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; experience in study abroad or working overseas preferred;
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English; knowledge of a program language preferred (Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish or Urdu);
  • Demonstrated ability to manage routine office support tasks;
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities quickly and effectively;
  • Ability to work independently while contributing to an overall team effort; and
  • Effective interpersonal skills.

The position is contingent upon funding.




American Councils is committed to taking affirmative steps to enhance employment opportunities for minorities, women, veterans, and people with disabilities, and strives to ensure that meaningful employment and promotional opportunities are maintained for everyone. American Councils’ commitment to equal employment opportunity is based not only on federal requirements, but also on a longstanding commitment to maintaining a diverse workforce reflective of the communities in which we operate.




The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.