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
Rachel Sider
Arabic 2012
Rabat, Morocco
Sarah Whipple
Arabic 2017
Meknes, Morocco

Arabic Stories

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.

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Posted November 15, 2019


AC Insights: Being Black In
CLS Alumna Ermida Koduah (Arabic 2016) and her cousin Jasmine Oduro are interviewed about their blogging project "Being Black In," a platform created for black travelers to freely share tips, lessons and personal experiences abroad.

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Posted November 12, 2019


Rachel Sider

“CLS gave me the initial boost of confidence to make friendships in a foreign language, try new foods for which I only know the Arabic name and, eventually, dream in the language. This was the foundation on which my professional life in the Middle East has unfolded.”

Rachel Sider...

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Posted October 24, 2019