American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)

The American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Language Program offers eight-month academic year, summer and semester courses at elementary to advanced levels in many languages, including several that are rarely taught outside of India.


For the summer course, AIIS requires at least a year of studying the respective language for Hindi, Urdu, Bangla, Tamil before participating in the courses, and two years of studying is required for the remaining languages, however, instruction at all levels, including beginner’s level are offered. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply; AIIS will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate them.

Summer Language Program: (8 weeks, from June to August)

AIIS offers instruction in Bangla, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, Telugu and Kannada, as well as other languages, if there is interest.

Advanced Language Program – (September to April)

Eligibility: The Advanced Language Program in India is open to students who have finished at least two years of their undergraduate degree. Applicants need to have a minimum of two years or 240 class hours of classroom instruction in the target language before starting the program. Applicants for other Indian languages not listed above may be considered. Applicants who have one year of language preparation at the time of application may be considered, provided they successfully complete an intensive second-year summer language program before their departure for India. The selection is conducted without reference to race, sex, religion, national origin, or home institution. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply; AIIS will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate them.

Semester Program – Fall Semester

AIIS will offer instruction in Bengali, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu as well as other languages if there is interest. Instruction is available for the fall semester at all levels; students who satisfactorily complete the fall semester can request to continue in the spring semester. Students with disabilities are encouraged to apply; AIIS will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate them.


Instruction includes both classroom teaching, independent work, and non classroom activities. Details are as follows:

Total hours of classroom teaching (Including orientation, weekly tests and final tests)

Summer Program: 145 hours
Semester program: 290 hours
Academic Year: 600 hours

Independent work:

Maximum two hours of home work per day
Assignments: Journal writing during week-end, reporting after field trip and final project presentation.


Non-classroom teaching

Summer Program:

Two zero hours per week (total 14 hours)
90 minutes of Personal tutorials per week (total 10 hours 30 minutes)
Weekly guests: 5 (one hour each, 5 hours)
Three local trips (three hours each, total 9 hours)
Two field trips (8 hours each, total 16 hours)
One overnight trip (two days, 36 hours)

Semester program:

Two zero hours per week (total 30hours)
Two hours of Personal tutorials (total 30 hours)
Weekly guest: 5 (one hours each, 5 hours)
Three local trips (three hours each, total 9 hours)
One field trips (total 8 hours)

Academic Year: 600 hours

Two zero hours per week (total 54 hours)
Two hours of Personal tutorials (54 hours)
Weekly guests: 8 (total 8 hours)
Six local trips (3 hours each, total 18 hours)
Two field trips (8 hours each, total 16 hours)
One overnight trip (36 hours)

Weekly meeting:

Each Friday, as a structured class, participants meet with all teachers for the following:
Review the previous week and introduce modifications/improvements if desirable.
Receive weekly schedule and materials (Magazine Articles, Literature, other materials with corresponding vocabularies/word-lists, reference materials etc.) for the coming week.
Participants are given a general introduction to these materials.
Inputs from Participants are invited for the usefulness of materials and other aspects of teaching/learning.

Weekly Test:

The primary objective of this examination is (a) to assess participants’ comprehension of materials/aspects learned during the week and (b) a reinforcement of the same. The test paper has three parts:
a) Descriptive: Descriptive, short answers pertaining to magazine/literature/film class
b) Grammar: Translation to assess comprehension of grammar topic of the week
c) Vocabulary: Participants asked to create words with given prefixes/suffixes or/and to structure sentences using idioms/expressions used in the week

Classes and Textbooks:

The classes are generally in the mornings from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday through Friday, with additional activities in the afternoon. The participants will also have free time in the afternoon for their own study or to make use of the program’s library. They can also attend extra classes with the teachers if desired. The teachers will be available every weekday until 5:00 pm; in addition, most of the teachers will be available outside the Institute to help students with cultural immersion. Field trips will take place on Saturdays and/or Sundays. Students will receive in advance a weekly schedule listing topics of classes and other events every week.
Every Friday, there will be a quiz/test followed by a informal/formal weekly meeting to review the past week, and to discuss the following week’s schedule. There will be regular home readings and written assignments.
Textbook/curricular materials: Teaching materials will be prepared as per the needs of the participants.

Week by Week Schedule

Classes will be from Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Cultural activities such as cooking, dance, classical music, and drama class will be in the afternoons, 2 days per week
Local cultural excursions will take students to sites in the city approximately once every two weeks on a weekday afternoon or weekend overnight cultural excursions will take place on one weekend.

On-Site Orientation:

All students will have on-site orientation on their arrival at respective language teaching centers. During orientation, students will be introduced to their new environment, explained local rules, procedures and what to do in case of an emergency, and informed on important cultural norms or differences. General issues like safety measures, introduction to Indian society and culture, health care in India, issues related to combating sexual harassment, and academic aspects of the program will also be addressed by leading scholars in the field.

Cultural Excursions

The program organizes field trips and cultural programs in order to generate, facilitate and encourage community participation and interaction to the maximum extent possible. Participants are taken to nearby places of interest; educational/cultural centers, etc. and establish contacts with people there for further community interaction. The local trips are visits to the local institutions, NGOs, seminars, symposiums, and local cultural activities and therefore are most likely on workdays. Cultural programs will be organized at the program house, or participants will be provided a guide to take them to visit a cultural site. Participants are encouraged to write about these trips in their journals and discuss the trips in conversation classes. Inputs from individual participants/groups are consistently sought regarding their preferences of destinations and people to visit. Proposals are selected and decided with general consent accordingly.
Students will be given detailed excursion site information, its historical and social significance, and important vocabulary list. During the trip students will have the opportunity to interact with local community who will speak only target language. Each student will receive a questionnaire and students will complete the questionnaire with the help of the locals in the target language.

Completion of Homework

Students will be assigned homework in each class, and are expected to complete it by the date indicated by the teacher. Instructors factor student work into planning for future classes; timely completion of all assigned homework will allow teachers to more accurately gauge student progress and effectively utilize class time. Homework will be graded and will factor into students’ overall course grades.


AIIS will administer placement test, weekly test and final exams. The Placement test and final exams will be comprehensive. In addition, students will be required to complete regular tests and quizzes, which will cover material introduced in class and during cultural excursions.

Language policy

Students are expected and required to speak the language concerned both to classmates and to teachers throughout the duration of the program. Speaking only the language concerned is an important way of showing respect to instructors, as well as an essential component of the program that will allow students to maximally use and reinforce the language skills they will acquire.


AIIS’s housing system works on the principle of single occupancy in one room; Students will be assigned to housing based on the responses given in their housing preference forms. Basic furniture, almirah, AC etc. are provided in the room. Internet accessibility is available at some host families.
Students are required to fill out a housing preference form in advance detailing their personal habits, and dietary preferences.


The Fee for the above programs are as given below:
Summer Language Program $3,000 per participant
Fall Semester Program $3,500 per participant
Advanced Language Program $7,000 per participant
The deadline for the above programs is 31st Januar, 2015.
AIIS will provide transcripts on successful completion of the program.
Host Family stay with air-conditioned single room accommodation including breakfast and dinner and lunch during weekends would cost around INR 17,000/- per month.

How to Apply

For further information and for the application forms please refer to AIIS’S website