Center for International Understanding

For students, understanding current world events is paramount for success in today’s global economy. Many faculty members have participated in grant-funded professional development workshops around the world, bringing back knowledge that is then integrated into several course areas. The College also offers study abroad opportunities for students each year, allowing them to study a foreign language, explore historical sites and experience another country and culture firsthand. The Center for International Understanding provides a structural framework upon which the College can further its achievements in promoting international understanding. 


Community College of Philadelphia’s Center for International Understanding promotes knowledge and appreciation of a diverse and interdependent world. The Center encourages and supports the integration of international content into courses and curricula, as well as student and faculty experiential learning abroad. To foster student achievement and enrichment, the Center supports faculty development and research. Drawing upon rich resources within the College and among outside organizations, businesses and individuals, the Center initiates and sustains projects to benefit the entire College community and to serve local, national and international needs.

The 2023 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program Application is now open!

These scholarships are open to American undergraduate to apply to study a critical language next summer on a fully funded virtual or overseas language program. The application is available online at:

The application deadline is November 15 at 8pm Eastern Time.

Apply at

A fully funded program for virtual or overseas language study 

The CLS Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks over the summer studying one of 14 critical languages (Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu). The program is designed to promote rapid language gains through intensive language instruction, host community engagement, and structured cultural activities in a cohort-based setting.

Under the CLS Program, CLS Spark, provides virtual opportunities for American undergraduate students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities to study Arabic, Chinese, and Russian at the beginner level over the summer. Designed to leverage best practices in online language learning, CLS Spark provides participants the opportunity to study critical languages virtually at the absolute beginner level when they may not have access to these languages.

Key Benefits:
  • Full scholarship covers all instruction and a $300 stipend
  • Online language instruction and cultural enrichment experiences over the course of two 11-week terms
  • Language gains certified with the widely recognized ACTFL OPI test
  • Automatic consideration as CLS Program semifinalists for the summer overseas ✳ 2023 CLS Program to continue their language study

Contact Prof. David Prejsnar, Director of the Center for International Understanding and CLS Advisor at the College ( for more information, advising and resources. Faculty interested in finding our more about the CLS Scholarships should attend our workshop on the CLS Program at the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (B2-36) in-person or on Zoom Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 12 noon – 1 pm.

Apply at


Study in Italy in may 2015

Study Abroad

What better way to immerse yourself in another culture than by traveling abroad? The College offers several opportunities for students to experience a true study abroad experience.


Explore our study abroad programs

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