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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

The CLS Program has suspended all summer language institutes for 2020.

Previous Institutes

Featured Alumni Profiles

Ethan McHugh
Arabic 2017
Ibri, Oman
Sarah Whipple
Arabic 2017
Meknes, Morocco
Rachel Sider
Arabic 2012
Rabat, Morocco

Arabic Stories

Announcing Selection for the 2020 CLS Program

The CLS Program is pleased to announce the results of its 2020 summer competition. Congratulations to all the finalists and alternates who participated in the application for the CLS Program this summer.

Finalists for the 2020 CLS Program were selected from a diverse pool of nearly 5,000...

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Posted February 27, 2020

Radhika Arora
“From a young age, I became interested in learning languages and exploring the cultural differences that shape the way we think about the world. The CLS Program solidified those interests and inspired a clear career pathway for me.”

Radhika Arora’s interest in the Middle East started when she...

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Posted January 02, 2020

Amanda Barbour

Amanda Barbour participated in CLS Arabic program in Tunis, Tunisia in 2010 as an undergraduate student at the University at Buffalo.

“[Participating on the CLS Program] influenced the trajectory of my study. I completed my undergraduate work shortly after my summer in CLS and eventually...

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Posted December 04, 2019