AIIS offers intensive, immersion-based training in modern and classical South Asian languages at multiple sites in India.

Three types of programs are offered:
  • Summer Programs: 8 weeks, from June to August
  • Academic Year Programs: 9 months, from September to May
  • One Semester Programs
Courses regularly include:
  • Bangla (Bengali)
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Marathi
  • Mughal Persian
  • Pali/Prakrit
  • Punjabi
  • Sanskrit
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Urdu
  • In addition, instruction may be arranged in other languages:
  • Kashmiri
  • Oriya
  • Sindhi
  • Tibetan


For more than five decades, AIIS language programs in India have been crucial to most U.S.-based scholars of South Asian area studies in the humanities and social science disciplines. Area experts employed in government, NGOs, and the private sector have also benefitted. More than 4,000 students have completed programs through the Institute.

The AIIS Language Program offers nine-month academic year, summer and semester courses at elementary to advanced levels in many languages, including several that are rarely taught outside of India. The eligibility requirements vary depending on the particular program. Students who have successfully completed two years of language training and who seek intensive immersion instruction within a target-language environment work toward an advanced-to-superior level of proficiency. Applications for AIIS language programs are available in mid-October and are due by December 31; the selection process is finished by late February. Pending funding, AIIS hopes to award full fellowships to qualified academic-year program students; summer program applicants should seek funding from their home institutions or through the Critical Language Scholarships program (for Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu), but may also be considered for financial assistance from AIIS.

U.S. military veterans, students from community colleges and regional public institutions and non-traditional students are especially encouraged to apply. AIIS makes every effort to accommodate students with disabilities or special needs.

Students participating in the AIIS Academic Year Language Program who are funded through their home institutions with Title VI FLAS Fellowships must take an additional directed readings course with faculty, arranged by AIIS, at a local Indian university or research institute. This course will require a syllabus approved by AIIS, with the concurrence of the relevant faculty and student. Additional tuition charges of $500 will be incurred.

To apply for the language programs and for or additional information, please go to

Critical Languages Scholarship

AIIS operates both CLS and non-CLS summer programs in Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Please note that U.S. citizens who are applying for Bangla, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu for the summer program should also submit applications for a Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) fellowship, funded by the U.S. State Department, if they meet the eligibility requirements. These fellowships would cover the cost of the program. Students should submit both an application to AIIS for admission to the program, as well as to CLS for funding.

To apply for CLS, go to Please note that the CLS application due date will be earlier than the AIIS deadline. Those who apply for a CLS but do not receive it could still be admitted to the AIIS program as long as they have also submitted an application to AIIS.

NOTE: Elementary levels of Summer Bangla, Hindi and Urdu will only be offered to those with CLS fellowships. For more information, please call AIIS at (773) 702-8638 or email