The Urdu Language

The Hindi-Urdu language family consists of hundreds of millions of speakers, making it one of the most commonly spoken languages in the entire world. Urdu, spoken in parts of Northern India and in Pakistan, is the perfect linguistic tool for anyone looking to get a foothold on a career involving South Asia. Both India and Pakistan have long been key players in South Asian affairs and have been important destinations for public and private sector development.

American students in a wide variety of disciplines are drawn to the Urdu language not only because of the region's growing role in international affairs, but also for Urdu's vibrant literary history and rich religious and artistic traditions. Learning Urdu will give you a competitive edge and the tools to break into the exciting work happening across many fields in South Asia such as agriculture, technology, public health, and film.

Program Sites

Lucknow, India
Jun 13, 2019 - Aug 14, 2019

Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Jessica Garross
Urdu 2017
Lucknow, India
Harrison Akins
Urdu 2016
Lucknow, India

Urdu Stories

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

Announcing Application Dates and Changes to the 2020 CLS Program

The CLS Program is in the process of wrapping up another successful summer, and with it we are turning our attention to the fall application and recruitment season. We have a few important updates leading into the fall application season that we want to share with advisors and students as soon...

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Posted August 15, 2019

Jessica Garross

Jessica Garross is an alumna of the 2017 CLS Urdu program in Lucknow, India. Jessica is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in international business economics with minors in Arabic and international development. In her free time, Jessica likes...

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Posted July 23, 2018