Language Programs

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

Three types of programs are offered:



Courses regularly include:Language Program Map

  • 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 such as:

  • 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 benefited. 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.  Applications for AIIS language programs are available in mid-September and are due by December 31; the selection process is finished by late February.

AIIS awards full fellowships, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Group Projects Abroad program, to qualified academic-year and semester program students on a competitive basis. Fellowships are intended  for students who have successfully completed the equivalent of two years of language training and who seek intensive immersion instruction within a target-language environment to work toward an advanced-to-superior level of proficiency. Summer program applicants should seek funding from their home institutions or through the Critical Language Scholarship program (for Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu), but may also be considered for financial assistance from AIIS.

Undergraduates who complete an AIIS language program can enroll to have their AIIS coursework recorded as transferable academic credit through Indiana University, which serves as the AIIS transcript school of record. Students can earn 12-16 credits per semester and 8 credits for the summer program.

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.

Students who are enrolled in a master’s program and who participate in the summer 2020 programs may request up to $1,175 in funding to complete a one-month capstone project to be carried out upon completion of the language program. Students interested in this funding should add an additional one to two paragraphs to their statement of purpose, describing their proposed project.

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