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The Indonesian Language

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of the most populous Muslim country and one of the world's most interesting cultural and economic landscapes. Spoken by over 250 million people living in the archipelago nation of Indonesia, fewer than 300 Americans enrolled in collegiate Indonesian courses in 2009, creating an amazing opportunity for those students who take it.

Indonesia is a remarkable country made up of 6,000 inhabited islands (and 11,000 more uninhabited ones!), and many of these islands feature their own unique cultures and languages. Closely related to the widely spoken Malay language, Indonesian has the potential to be a gateway to many countries in Southeast Asia. Today, Indonesia features a rapidly growing economy and is gaining momentum on the international stage. By studying Bahasa Indonesian, you can add an in-demand language to your repertoire and prepare to contribute globally in your field, whether it's medicine, environmental policy, or music and the arts.

Program Sites

Program sites will be announced in the spring.

Previous Institutes


Featured Alumni Profiles

Helen Jiang
Indonesian 2016
Malang, Indonesia
Annisah Smith
Indonesian 2016
Malang, Indonesia
Sarina Haryanto
Indonesian 2018
Malang, Indonesia

Indonesian Stories

Annisah Smith
“Being awarded the Critical Language Scholarship was a special moment for me as it allowed me to finally learn Bahasa Indonesia in a formal setting and connect with my Indonesian family.”

Annisah Smith participated in CLS Indonesian in 2015 and 2016 in Malang, Indonesia. She grew up in Kuala...

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Posted January 14, 2020


Announcing the 2020 CLS Application - Now Open!

We are pleased to announce that the application for the 2020 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is now open! American undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply now to learn a critical foreign language next summer on a fully-funded study abroad program.

The...

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Posted September 12, 2019


Announcing Application Dates and Changes to the 2020 CLS Program

The CLS Program is in the process of wrapping up another successful summer, and with it we are turning our attention to the fall application and recruitment season. We have a few important updates leading into the fall application season that we want to share with advisors and students as soon...

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Posted August 15, 2019