Campus News Society & Culture

UGA hosts international language instructors

UGA hosts international language instructors in federally funded program

Athens, Ga. – Six language instructors from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh have begun the fall semester at the University of Georgia under the auspices of the Fulbright Program and the Institute of International Education in New York.

“They are here to teach classes in six different languages that the federal government deems to be critical for national security: Pashto, Urdu, Persian, Indonesian, Turkish and Bengali,” said Alan Godlas, professor of religion in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

In addition to funding the classes, the Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program, sponsored by Fulbright and IIE, handpicked these six native speakers, all of whom are experienced instructors in their own languages and also fluent in English. The program also arranged their transportation from their countries to UGA.

The instructors and the language they teach are: Muazzam Sharif, Pakistan, for Pashto; Maryam Shaheen, Pakistan, for Urdu; Emrah Ozcan, Turkey, for Turkish; Parviz Hussaini, Afghanistan, for Persian; Difi Apriyanti, Indonesia, for Indonesian; and Mahmudul Haque, Bangladesh, for Bengali.

Although UGA already offers four years of courses leading to an Arabic major, interested students can take a full two years of classes in these additional languages, thereby fulfilling their language requirements, Godlas said. Even after having taken only one year of these languages, undergraduates will be in a position to obtain federally funded scholarships for subsequent study abroad in countries where these languages are spoken, he added.

Also, graduate students taking these languages in addition to their own field of study can receive federal scholarships for language study at UGA. For more information, see the Boren NSEP scholarship program at

For questions about Boren and other scholarships, contact the UGA representative, Jessica Hunt, at 706/542-6206 or Students interested in enrolling in language classes should contact Alan Godlas at, co-director of the UGA Arabic major, who is coordinating instruction in these languages at UGA.