Critical Language Scholarship Program | Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Program Dates:

June 15 - August 10, 2023

Hosting Institution:

American Councils Dushanbe Language Center

Program Overview

The CLS Persian Program aims to provide students the opportunity to strengthen their proficiency in Persian and develop a deeper understanding of Central Asia by offering an intensive language and culture program in Tajikistan’s capital city, Dushanbe. The program has been hosted by American Councils in Dushanbe since 2010.

Over eight weeks, the CLS Persian institute covers the approximate equivalent of one academic year of university-level language coursework. It is designed to meet the needs of students from a variety of proficiency levels and backgrounds, from students who are just beginning their Persian study to advanced learners polishing their command of the language for professional use.

Formal classroom language instruction consists of approximately three hours of class per day, five days per week. The academic program focuses primarily on Persian Farsi, but students enhance their language skills with a limited number of class hours devoted to Tajiki—the local Persian dialect. In addition to learning a new dialect, participants also learn the Cyrillic alphabet. Learning Cyrillic and Tajiki helps students integrate more fully into daily life in Dushanbe and is an added benefit of the CLS Persian Program.

In addition to classes, students also participate in cultural excursions, lectures and activities which are designed to reinforce and enhance language acquisition and familiarity with the host culture. Past activities have included cooking classes, visits to museums, cultural and sports centers, and lectures by journalists and calligraphers. Previous CLS students have also pursued their own interests outside of the classroom by enrolling in martial arts classes, musical instrument lessons, and independent studies with calligraphers.

All CLS participants in Dushanbe live with local host families where they share meals and gain access to a wide network of extended family members. Students repeatedly comment on the warmth of their host families who serve as the center of social life for their members. Students also participate in meetings with language partners who provide an insider’s perspective on the city, language, and culture. Host family members and language partners are ready and willing to help students manage daily life in Dushanbe, assisting students in navigating public transportation, signing up for gym memberships, organizing haircuts, shopping for traditional outfits, and celebrating holidays and birthdays togethers.