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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 Tajiki 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 Tajiki dialects and set yourself apart with a rare immersive experience.

Program Sites

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


Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

John Krzyzaniak
Persian 2016
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Tara Lynch-Ornstein
Persian 2007
Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Persian Stories

John Krzyzaniak

When John Krzyzaniak decided to attend graduate school and make a career change in 2014, one of his key goals was to pick up a new language. Although he took Persian classes, hired private tutors, and even used Rosetta Stone during his two-year Master’s in International Relations program at the...

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Posted March 03, 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...

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Posted February 27, 2020


Tara Lynch-Ornstein

“CLS equipped me with valuable experience and knowledge that I continue to use in my work every day. Participating in the CLS Program opened many doors to incredible professional opportunities that enable me to apply the experience I gained in Tajikistan to global health research and service...

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Posted November 11, 2019