Critical Language Scholarship Program | Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku, Azerbaijan

Program Dates:

June 12 - August 09, 2023

Hosting Institution:

Azerbaijani University of Languages

Program Overview

The CLS Program in Baku, Azerbaijan is hosted by the Azerbaijan University of Languages (AUL). AUL is the premier pedagogical university in Azerbaijan and has hosted CLS students since 2010. The university has three campuses, eight schools of study, and more than 5,000 undergraduate students, as well as over 300 graduate students. AUL is also home to the U.S. Embassy’s American Center, which is an Internet center and library that offers access to reference tools and research services.

The CLS Program in Baku provides students with the opportunity to learn Azerbaijani through intensive language study in an immersive environment. The program covers approximately one academic year of university-level Azerbaijani study during an 8-week period. The language instruction is designed to meet the needs of students from a variety of language levels and backgrounds, from those who are learning the language for the first time to advanced speakers refining their command of the language for use in a professional capacity.

Formal classroom language instruction is provided for an average of three hours per day, five days per week, with a focus on developing students’ reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in Azerbaijani. Formal language instruction is then supplemented with cultural activities and excursions within Azerbaijan, such as group trips to the opera and museums. These supplemental activities are designed to expand students’ understanding of Azerbaijan’s history, geography and culture, as well as to provide the opportunity to use their target language outside of the classroom.

Students live with host families, which gives them an opportunity to experience daily life inside an Azerbaijani family and further practice their language skills outside of class. Students have daily meals with their host families in Baku, and are immersed in the family’s everyday life and routine. The host family experience allows students many opportunities to learn about Azerbaijan’s culture, its unique identity, and the post-Soviet legacy.

In addition to their relationship with the host family, students develop relationships with an Azerbaijani language partner through regular one-on-one meetings. Language partners are typically local university students who meet with students to speak the language and explore the capital city, offering insight into cultural norms and customs.