U.S. Flag   State Department Seal   A Program of the U.S. Department of State

The Bangla Language

Spoken from the densely populated nation of Bangladesh to the bustling streets of the Kolkata metropolis in the Indian state of West Bengal, Bangla is the seventh most spoken language in the entire world. As the economies of South Asia continue to grow and the region's strategic and commercial importance grows, demand for languages like Bangla continue to increase in international businesses, universities and research institutions, non-profit and development organizations, and the US government.

Bangla has a rich and diverse history, boasting a literary tradition that produced India's national poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Business majors looking to break into exciting developing economies, scientists who want to work with Bangladesh and India's leading researchers and educational institutions, anthropologists and ethnomusicologists studying the fascinating cultures of the region, and just about anyone from any field can add a unique dynamic to their career pursuits with this important and widely spoken Indic language.

Program Sites

The CLS Program has suspended all summer language institutes for 2020.


Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Audrey Petersen
Bangla 2011
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Chelsea McGill
Bangla 2011
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Kerry Burgott
Bangla 2017
Kolkata, India

Bangla Stories

Audrey Petersen

Audrey Petersen made the decision to study Bangla after doing a public health research project on the incorporation of zinc in the treatment of diarrheal diseases for her nursing program at George Mason University. The research was primarily being studied by an organization headquartered in...

Read more

Posted June 22, 2020


2020 Finalists and Alternates

Congratulations to the finalists and alternates for the 2020 CLS Program, representing students from 306 institutions across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico! Although the summer 2020 program has been suspended, we applaud the commitment of the students who prepared...

Read more

Posted May 01, 2020


Announcing Selection for the 2020 CLS Program

The CLS Program is pleased to announce the results of its 2020 summer competition. Congratulations to all the finalists and alternates who participated in the application for the CLS Program this summer.

Finalists for the 2020 CLS Program were selected from a diverse pool of nearly 5,000...

Read more

Posted February 27, 2020