Opportunities to consider • Fulbright’s Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA)
Critical Language Enhancement Award
The Critical Language Enhancement Award (CLEA) is a feature of the U.S. Student Fulbright Program, which provides an opportunity for some Fulbright U.S. Student grantees to receive typically from three to six months of intensive language study as an enhancement to their Fulbright grants. Language instruction providers and duration of individual programs are subject to change and vary by eligible country. They must be approved by local Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies in the host countries. CLEA is offered to students once they have been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student grant which requires that they use one of the eligible languages for their Fulbright project and beyond.
The purpose of the Critical Language Enhancement Award is to cultivate higher levels of language proficiency prior to and during the Fulbright grant period and beyond. Ultimately, Critical Language Enhancement grantees will achieve a high level of proficiency in a targeted language and will go on to careers or further study which will incorporate the use of the language studied and/or related languages.
The Critical Language Enhancement Award helps promote the Fulbright Program’s goals of cross-cultural exchange and dialogue. Fulbright grantees capable of communicating in the local language in their host countries are likely to form stronger bonds with their peers, conduct more meaningful research, and develop a greater understanding of a foreign culture. The experience grantees bring home after their Critical Language Enhancement Award and Fulbright grant will serve them in their chosen careers and throughout their lives.
Eligible Languages and Countries
Arabic (all dialects), Bahasa Indonesia, Bangla/Bengali, Chinese (Mandarin only), Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Russian, and Urdu.
Grant Duration and Schedule
The Critical Language Enhancement Award grant period is typically 3-6 months in duration and varies by host country. CLEA grantees must plan their CLEA in coordination with the local Fulbright Commissions/Foundations or U.S. Embassies in the host countries. In some countries, the entire CLEA must be taken prior to starting the Fulbright grant. Intensive study is typically defined as 20 hours per week of classroom study or 10 hours per week of tutoring and must be approved by the local Fulbright Commission/Foundation or U.S. Embassy. In some cases, this option will require grantees to receive visas for more than one year. In some countries, CLEA may be set up to include intensive study before the Fulbright grant, followed by a period of time of tutoring or coursework concurrent with the Fulbright grant.
The Critical Language Enhancement Award does not alter the duration of the Fulbright Full grant. For example: a 3-month language award plus a 10-month Fulbright means a commitment of 13 months. Recipients of an award must begin their Fulbright grant immediately following the language training. Grantees may not begin working on their Fulbright research projects until the Fulbright grant period begins.
- The Critical Language Enhancement Award start date depends on many factors including: the availability of a suitable language program on requested dates; conditions set by the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy; academic affiliations requiring the Fulbright Full or ETA Grant to begin on a specific date; and completion of mandatory U.S.-based pre-departure orientations. Applicants should comment on their flexibility with respect to start dates when considering the entire length of time abroad.
- Depending on the country, July is the earliest that one can begin the Critical Language Enhancement Award. Most grantees begin in September. The last day the Fulbright Full Grant can begin is March 31, 2014 for the 2013-14 program year.
- The purpose of the Critical Language Enhancement Award is to provide supplemental language instruction with the goal of better preparing grantees for the successful completion of their regular Fulbright grant. Therefore, grantees cannot shorten the duration of their Fulbright grants in order to increase language study afforded by the Critical Language Enhancement Award for any reason.
- Absolutely no departure will be allowed for the Critical Language Enhancement Award before Fulbright and Critical Language Enhancement Award grant documents are signed and received by IIE or the Fulbright Commission; all medical documents are submitted and medical clearance has been issued; and, research clearance and visas, as required by some countries, have been received.
Holidays, Recesses, and Break Periods
International travel is permitted during holiday/recess periods. However, grantees will not be covered under the U.S. Department of State Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges (ASPE) when traveling outside of the host country.
For Intensive Study Periods (completed prior to the Fulbright Full/ETA Grant) of less than 3 months: No vacation will be authorized.
For Intensive Study Periods (completed prior to the Fulbright Full/ETA Grant) of 3-4 months: The grantee may take up to one week (7 days including weekends) of vacation without deduction in grant benefits if such absence is approved by either the local Fulbright Commission/Foundation or the Cultural Affairs Officer or other appropriate officer of the U.S. Embassy, and by the host institution. Insofar as possible, any vacation period should correspond with a local holiday period or recess at your language and/or teaching institution.
For Intensive Study Periods (completed prior to the Fulbright Full/ETA Grant) of over 4 months: The grantee may take up to two weeks (14 days including weekends) of vacation without deduction in grant benefits if such absence is approved by either the local Fulbright Commission/Foundation or the Cultural Affairs Officer or other appropriate officer of the U.S. Embassy, and by the host institution. Insofar as possible, any vacation period should correspond with a local holiday period or recess at your language and/or teaching institution.
For more information on this opportunity, go to http://us.fulbrightonline.org/critical-language-enhancement-awards