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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

Program sites will be announced in the spring.

Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Amy Moyer
Bangla 2009
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Chelsea McGill
Bangla 2011
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Paige Giarmona
Bangla 2016
Kolkata, India

Bangla Stories

Amy Moyer

Amy participated in CLS Bangla in 2009 and 2010 as a graduate student at Lehigh University studying International Education Leadership. Her advisor worked in Bangladesh and sparked her interest in learning Bangla. Amy quickly connected Bangla with her passion for a career in international...

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Posted February 04, 2020

Chelsea McGill

When Chelsea McGill went to Bangladesh on the CLS Program in 2011, it was her first time outside of the United States. After eight weeks navigating a completely new environment, culture and language, she knew that it wouldn’t be the last.

“Looking back, my decision to apply for Bangla has...

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Posted November 06, 2019

Announcing the 2020 CLS Application - Now Open!

We are pleased to announce that the application for the 2020 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is now open! American undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply now to learn a critical foreign language next summer on a fully-funded study abroad program.


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Posted September 12, 2019