CLS Chinese 中文

The Chinese Language

Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world, boasting almost 900 million native speakers and over a billion speakers in total! Dating back thousands of years, the Chinese language reflects a rich history of cultural traditions and encompasses a vast diversity of people, places, and perspectives. The Chinese language itself is various, featuring many mutually unintelligible regional dialects and variations, although Mandarin has been adopted as a de facto standard.

It's easy to see why Chinese is in such high demand, with booming economies all over the world in locations such as Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and of course China, all featuring Mandarin Chinese as a key component. As technology continues to connect the East and the West, more Americans are learning Chinese in order to engage effectively in the global marketplace and pursue international careers in diverse fields such as archaeology, finance, sociology, and medicine. The CLS Program teaches students Mandarin Chinese, while providing opportunities for students to engage with China's diverse local culture.

Program Sites


Featured Alumni Profiles

Aaron Yang
Chinese 2017
Changchun, China
Leisha Guzman Torres
Chinese 2017
Suzhou, China
Wendy van Giezen
Chinese 2017
Changchun, China
Anesce Dremen
Chinese 2016
Suzhou, China

Chinese Stories

CLS 2017 Application Launches!

We are pleased to announce the opening of the competition for the U.S. Department of State 2017 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in fourteen critical foreign languages. The CLS Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State... Read more

Announcing the 2016 CLS Application!

We are pleased to announce the opening of the competition for the U.S. Department of State 2016 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in fourteen critical foreign languages. The CLS Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau ... Read more