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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.

Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Eram Mallick
Urdu 2019
Lucknow, India
Harrison Akins
Urdu 2016
Lucknow, India
Jessica Garross
Urdu 2017
Lucknow, India

Urdu Stories

The 2021 Summer Application is Now Available!

We are pleased to announce that the application for the 2021 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is now open! We welcome your students to apply now to learn a critical foreign language next summer on a fully-funded study abroad program.

The application is now live and available...

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Posted August 27, 2020


Announcing the CLS Program Fall Virtual Institutes

Following the success of the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program’s Virtual Institutes this summer, we are pleased to announce that the CLS Program will offer further virtual language instruction this fall for the study of ten critical languages: Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Indonesian,...

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Posted August 14, 2020


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