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How to Continue Arabic Studies before Grad School?


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3 replies to this topic

#1 swizzle24

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 09:41 AM

I'm currently a rising senior interested in pursuing more Arabic after I graduate. I want to focus on the language exclusively before I start applying to grad schools in Arab Studies.

Does anyone have suggestions for the best way to enhance Arabic after graduating? From my research, Fulbright does not look favorably upon the language-only programs in the Middle East.

Thanks in advance!
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#2 crossedfingerscrossedeyes

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:24 AM

Rather than a language-based research project, have you considered doing an English teaching assistantship Fulbright in an Arab-speaking country? You generally have enough free time for private lessons. Plus, the immersion experience of living on your own in an Arab country mean that you'll have plenty of ways to enhance your Arabic. Sometimes you can get a CLS for the summer before you leave, too.
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#3 Jahiliyya

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 12:26 PM

Rather than a language-based research project, have you considered doing an English teaching assistantship Fulbright in an Arab-speaking country? You generally have enough free time for private lessons. Plus, the immersion experience of living on your own in an Arab country mean that you'll have plenty of ways to enhance your Arabic. Sometimes you can get a CLS for the summer before you leave, too.


Slight correction: you can only have a Fulbright OR a Critical Language Scholarship in a single given year, due to the conflict in the mandatory orientations. Sometimes Critical Language Enhancement Awards (CLEA) are given, but this varies depending on the funding situation in a given year. This year, only Fulbright grantees to a small subset of MENA countries were eligible for language enhancement awards.

Honestly, it depends to a large degree on your exact goals. How long have you studied Arabic? Have you studied Fusha only, or started work on dialects? Which dialects do you want to learn? Do you intend to go into a policy field (IR, security studies, etc), or do historical research? Everything will have different skills needed, and depending on your goals I would recommend different pathways (also, if you need a funded opportunity, versus being willing to pay yourself).

Georgetown University's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies sponsors a yearlong Arabic scholarship program in Doha, however, the next deadline will be in December 2012 for 2013-14 awards.

CLS (Critical Language Scholarships) are great, but extremely competitive, and you won't be able to apply until this fall for summer 2013.

Alternatively, you could just fly to the region and take classes at a place like the Qasid Institute in Amman.
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#4 swizzle24

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 01:21 PM

I am a rising senior currently studying in Egypt doing intensive fus'ha and the Egyptian dialect. Next summer I'll be doing CLS. I'm looking for post undergrad and pre-graduate school ways to build upon my Arabic. By the completion of CLS I'll probably be at very high-intermediate or low-advanced Arabic. My major is in security studies.

Is the program in Doha available to non Georgetown students? My biggest obstacle is money so funded programs are my preference.
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