“Learning abroad in the Arab world turns one’s studies of Arabic and Arab culture from an academic into a lived experience. No lessons are as memorable as those learned through living and sharing with people. Studying in the Arab world allows students to refine what they have previously learned, while opening windows onto the beauty and diversity of the region. In terms of language, it allows students to make a tremendous leap forward with their standard and colloquial Arabic skills, and to navigate the spectrum of Arabic language registers more successfully.”
— Katrien Vanpee, Director of Language Instruction in Arabic
Review the following suggestions from the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures and contact Dr. Vanpee, the Director of Language Instruction in Arabic, before beginning your study abroad research (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Choose your study abroad experience wisely
- Selecting the best program takes time, so begin planning your experience abroad with your adviser as early as possible.
- A properly chosen study abroad program will challenge your assumptions, deepen your knowledge, and broaden your understanding of global issues and cultures.
- Study abroad is one of the best ways to develop your language skills.
- A properly chosen study abroad experience allows students to develop flexibility, adaptability, critical thinking ability, communication skills, confidence, and other key qualities.
Please review this section carefully while selecting a learning abroad program. With the numerous learning abroad programs out there, selecting the appropriate one for you may seem difficult, but it is worth the effort.
There are three basic types of programs:
- programs in which students take classes in an institute or a center for foreign students
- programs in which students enroll in a university alongside students from the host country
- programs that combine courses in a center for foreign students with the option of taking courses in a university with native speakers.
Consider these factors when selecting a study abroad program.
Best time to go abroad
Asian Languages Literatures majors and minors may study abroad at any time during their academic career. If you are considering study abroad in the final semester of your senior year, be certain to consult with the Director of Language Instruction in advance.
Liberal Education Requirements
Major or Minor Requirements
Meet with Claudia Hasegawa (email@example.com), the ALL adviser, to:
Course Selection and Evaluation
- Use an Academic Planning for Study Abroad (APSA) Form to structure and document your discussion with your ALL adviser at least a month prior to your departure.
- Be sure to list more courses on the APSA form than what you will actually take abroad in case a particular course or schedule may not be available on-site. While abroad, notify your ALL adviser via email of any changes in your onsite registration (credit, course content, new course needing approval, etc.).
- Minor: it is possible to earn language credit and one elective through learning abroad coursework.
- Coursework most similar to ALL-designator courses have the greatest likelihood of being approved for the major/minor and does not have to be related to students’ subplans. For example, an Arabic literature/language/culture course may be approved, but an Arabic economics course will not be approved.
- Student must meet with the Director of Language Instruction in Arabic to discuss coursework credit both before study abroad and upon return.
Language Coursework Abroad
Language Coursework Upon Return
Please consult with the Director of Language Instruction in Arabic to determine:
- post-study abroad level assessment,
- appropriate placement into your next language course upon return,
- completion of the College of Liberal Arts second language requirement, or
- completion of the language requirement for the major or minor
- Boren Scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad. Boren Scholars represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including Arabic.
- Fulbright supports one year of study, research, creative work, or English teaching in one of approximately 130 foreign countries. Applicants must be U.S. citizens with the majority of their undergraduate education in the U.S. Seniors, recent graduates and graduate students may apply. Campus contact for undergraduates and recent graduates: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota is offering Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships in African, Asian and International Studies. The competition is open to undergraduate, graduate and professional degree students to study a modern, less-commonly-taught language (LCTL) in combination with an area studies course.
- Critical Language Scholarship Program (CLSP) is a program of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages
- The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program (gives preference to students studying in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America) offers grants to U.S. citizen undergraduate students of limited financial means to pursue academic studies abroad.
- Learning Abroad Center scholarships
Africa and the Middle East
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
- Program type: University Study
- Study in Jerusalem, a city sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Instruction is in English; Hebrew and Arabic language courses are also available
- Participants study in the Rothberg International School. Strengths: Israeli and Middle Eastern studies, Islamic studies, Hebrew, Arabic, Jewish studies, and Biblical history and archeology
- Arabic Immersion Program for Semester or Academic Year; Summer Arabic Intensive program also available
- No prior Hebrew is required. Fall semester, spring semester, academic year, or summer
University of Haifa
- Program type: University Study
- Study in Haifa, a city on the Mediterranean Sea known for its ethnic and religious tolerance
- Strengths include religious studies, Israeli and Middle Eastern studies, peace and conflict studies, and Hebrew and Arabic
- Arabic Language, Culture, and Civilization programs available, Summer Arabic Intensive program also available
- No prior Hebrew is required. Non-language courses taught in English in International School. Fall semester, spring semester, academic year, or summer
Arabic Language & Culture in Morocco
- Program type: Study Abroad Center
- U of M program based in the picturesque historic city of Fez. Homestay housing choices between the traditional medina or the modern city outside the walls.
- Learn Modern Standard Arabic in the classroom and Darija on the enchanting streets of Fez, considered Morocco's cultural capital city. On weekends, explore the imperial city of Meknes and the historic Fez medina, considered the oldest crafts and food market in the Arabic-speaking world
- Arabic language instruction at all levels
- Area studies courses in English on Morocco: Changes and Identities as well as on Islam: Past and Present
- Advanced topics courses in Arabic in a variety of subjects
- Internship and research opportunities available as well as volunteer options
- No prior Arabic is required. Fall or spring semester, academic year, or summer (6-week and intensive 9-week)
United Arab Emirates
CIEE - United Arab Emirates
- Located in Sharjah, develop your Arabic language skills and understanding of the Gulf region’s role in the Arab World and the global economy.
- Explore the UAE through CIEE excursions to Dubai, Al-Ain, and Abu Dhabi, and participate in various student clubs and organizations
- Improve your Arabic language skills while exploring the UAE’s role as a global hub for trade, business, and cultural exchange
- No prior Arabic required. Fall Semester, Spring Semester, Academic Year.
Additional Options to Consider
- Non-credit opportunities can be a great option for students who do not need academic credit but want to gain skills and experience abroad related to their field of study.
- Three-week programs led by University of Minnesota faculty, have no prerequisites, are open to freshmen, and fulfill one or more Liberal Education requirements.
- Ten or more locations and themes offered each year during winter break and May session.
- A Global Seminar early in your undergraduate experience can give you plenty of time to follow up with a longer study abroad experience later.