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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
Eram Mallick
Urdu 2019
Lucknow, India

Urdu Stories

2020 Finalists and Alternates

Congratulations to the finalists and alternates for the 2020 CLS Program, representing students from 306 institutions across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico! Although the summer 2020 program has been suspended, we applaud the commitment of the students who prepared...

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Posted May 01, 2020


Sarah Stackhouse

Sarah Stackhouse is an alumna of the 2019 CLS Urdu program in Lucknow, India. She’s currently studying Digital Marketing at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and works as an international admissions counselor for a branch campus of the University of Wisconsin. She completed additional...

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Posted April 30, 2020


Eram Mallick

Eram Mallick is an alumna of the 2019 CLS Urdu program in Lucknow, India. She’s currently an undergraduate student at Brown University, studying Economics. Eram plans to use her Urdu skills in her professional career focusing on international economics in non-profits. She enjoys experimenting...

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Posted April 29, 2020