Applicants who are studying a critical need language while abroad can apply for a supplemental award of up to $3,000, for a combined total of $8,000. The Critical Need Language Award is competitive and offered to a limited number of Gilman scholars each year. Not all students who are studying these languages will receive $8,000. In addition to receiving additional funds for language study, students who are awarded the Critical Need Language Award and complete their Gilman Scholarship requirements will be offered the opportunity to take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). This test and the results will serve as both an evaluation measure of the award and as a credential for the award recipient.
To be considered for this award, you will need to submit a short supplemental essay that describes how you intend to improve your critical need language skills, your motivations for doing so, and how your study of the language relates to your academic and professional goals. Please check here for more information on supplemental essay.
Critical Need Languages include:
|Languages||Potentially Eligible Countries or Areas*|
|Arabic||Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Tunisia|
|Portuguese||Angola, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Príncipe|
|Russian||Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan|
** The number of eligible countries or areas and languages supported by the CNLA are subject to change based on U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories and priorities.
*** This list is based on historic CNLA trends and includes countries or areas known to have large populations of native language speakers. Awards of CNLA in other countries or areas will be considered for applicants making a strong case for studying a Critical Need language in an alternate location. For more information, please contact Gilman.
**** You can also use the Critical Need Language Award to study a sign language. To apply to study a sign language, a student would apply for the target language (for instance, Japanese) and explain in their application that they would be studying both reading/writing and the Japanese Sign Language. The student would need to find a program in Japan that would be suitable.
***** The CNLA for Hebrew language is offered through the generous support of our partners at the Embassy of Israel to the United States.