Furman Student Receives Scholarship From U.S. State Department To Study Urdu Critical Language

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Sulaiman Ahmad, a Furman University senior from Greenville, has been awarded a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) from the U.S. Department of State to undergo intensive study of the Urdu language.

Ahmad will spend 12 weeks studying at the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) in Lucknow, the capital city of the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Selected from nearly 5,600 applications, Ahmad is among approximately 550 United States undergraduate and graduate students who received a scholarship from the CLS Program in 2018.
The Critical Language Scholarship Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to 12 weeks abroad studying one of 14 critical languages. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.

An initiative of the U.S. Department of State, the CLS Program is part of a wider government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering foreign languages that are critical to national security and economic prosperity. CLS plays a vital role in preparing students for the 21st century's globalized workforce and increasing national competitiveness.

The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, and from a wide range of fields of study and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of the United States. Participants are selected based on their commitment to language learning and plans to apply their language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits.
In addition to Urdu, CLS scholars study Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili or Turkish languages.
CLS Program participants are among the more than 40,000 academic and professional exchange program participants supported annually by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to promote mutual understanding and respect
Ahmad was also one of 20 people from across the nation selected to participate in last December’s Voices of Change, Voices of America, a leadership program that seeks to connect and empower emerging American Muslims to “become protagonists of their unique American narrative and dispel the false perceptions surrounding their culture.”

The program was sponsored by Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City.
Ahmad said his major in politics and international affairs led him to pursue a scholarship with the CLS Program. He is a member of Furman Muslim Student Association, the Furman Mock Trial Team and the Riley Institute Advance Team.
He is the son of Nawaid and Nasim Ahmad of Greenville.

For more information, contact Furman’s News and Media Relations office at 864-294-3107.