The Arabic Language

The Arabic language has a rich artistic, religious and intellectual history that dates back thousands of years and encompasses a myriad of modern cultures and traditions throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Today, Arabic is spoken by nearly 300 million people and is an official language in over 20 different countries as well as the United Nations, playing a key role in global communications and international affairs. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) ties the Arabic-speaking world together as the literary written language of official communication, while each region features its own distinct dialect and cultural tradition. The CLS Program focuses on MSA, while giving students the opportunity to develop their colloquial Arabic skills that provide a foundation for building strong relations.

Arabic has been growing in popularity among American students for years and has attracted intellectuals from across the academic spectrum. Whether you're studying economics, anthropology, public health, or history, there is a great demand for proficient Arabic-speakers with on-the-ground experience in the MENA region.

Program Sites

Ibri, Oman
Jun 06, 2019 - Aug 09, 2019
Meknes, Morocco
Jun 06, 2019 - Aug 09, 2019
Amman, Jordan
Jun 11, 2019 - Aug 09, 2019
Tangier, Morocco
Jun 16, 2019 - Aug 16, 2019

Previous Institutes


Featured Alumni Profiles

Sheen Atwa
Arabic 2016
Tangier, Morocco
Ermida Koduah
Arabic 2016
Tangier, Morocco
Rachel Sider
Arabic 2012
Rabat, Morocco

Arabic Stories

The CLS Program at the Annual ACTFL Conference

The 2019 Annual Convention and World Languages Expo for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages kicked off this week in Washington, D.C. and staff from the CLS Program were there to meet with our colleagues and alumni from across the United States, and all over the world. The...

Read more

Posted November 22, 2019


Erin Smith

“I never would have predicted the career I’m in today. CLS helped to put me in the circles I needed to be in for it to fall into place.”

As an undergraduate student at North Park University, Erin Smith studied music, but also chose to focus on courses on subjects that interested her...

Read more

Posted November 19, 2019


Podcast Seeks Greater Understanding Between Appalachia and Arab World
People on the outside looking in often misunderstand Appalachia’s cultural ways and traditions. Those same attitudes are often leveled at people from the Middle East. The new student podcast Sandstone, by Clara Haizlett, seeks to introduce people from both cultures, with the aim of developing greater understanding between them.

Read more

Posted November 15, 2019