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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

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


Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

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

Urdu Stories

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


The CLS Program at the Annual ACTFL Conference

The 2019 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages kicked off this week in Washington, D.C. and staff from the CLS Program were there to meet with our colleagues and alumni from across the United States, and all over the world. The...

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Posted November 22, 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.

The...

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Posted September 12, 2019