CLS Persian فارسی

The Persian Language

Persian is one of the world's ancient languages, once the lingua franca of an empire that spread across an enormous swathe of the Old World. Persian was the language of ancient cultures across Western and Central Asia, and many of the Islamic intellectuals, such as Avicenna, that later inspired the Renaissance in Europe did all of their writing in Persian. Today, Persian continues to be spoken widely throughout the same region in the form of three main dialects: Farsi in Iran, Dari in Afghanistan (where it is the language of cross-cultural communication), and Tajik in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Studying Persian is the gateway to this fascinating part of the world. Through the CLS Program, you'll have the unique opportunity to learn both the Farsi and Tajik dialects and set yourself apart with a rare immersive experience.

Program Sites


Featured Alumni Profiles

Daniel Bromberg
Persian 2015
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Emily Goshey
Persian 2014
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Belle Cheves
Persian 2014
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Persian 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

Department of State AEIF 2.0 Initiative

ECA’s Alumni Affairs Division has a new initiative called “AEIF 2.0.” As some of you may be aware, the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) was created in 2011 to support alumni initiatives that promote shared values and innovative solutions to g... Read more