Why Study Arabic?
Arabic is spoken widely across the globe. It is the official language of 22 countries, in particular throughout the Arab world. Examples are Morocco, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Qatar, Yemen, Tunisia, and Algeria. It is the native language of more than 300 million people, and one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Proficiency in any foreign language can advance your career and make you more competitive in the job market, and this is as true for Arabic as it is for other languages. Apart from its current international importance, both political and economic, Arabic has a vast literature and a rich tradition of poetry. It is the language of Islam, one of the most widely-practiced religions in the world.
Learning Arabic is an essential tool in preparing for career paths in political science, international affairs, Middle Eastern studies, international business, peace studies, Islamic studies, and international law. Understanding Arabic will enable students to build a bridge to communities around the world and to better understand current affairs and international diplomacy efforts.
Arabic is one of the languages on the U.S. State Department's "critical languages" list. There is a critical shortage of Arabic-speaking Americans and any students graduating with Arabic language skills will be attractive candidates for a multitude of government, academic and business jobs.
What does the Arabic Program offer?
The Arabic Program at Salem State is currently limited to four semesters of Arabic language and culture: Elementary Arabic I & II (ARA 101-102) and Intermediate Arabic I & II (ARA 201-202). Students learn to read, write, speak, and understand Modern Standard Arabic, while learning about the diverse cultures of the world where Arabic is spoken. There are free Arabic tutors available for students of Arabic through the Language Resource Center.
Salem State University students may take Arabic to complete the university's foreign language requirement [see college catalogue, p. 14], and/or combine it with studies of another foreign language in order to complete a foreign languages minor.
Study abroad options for a summer, a semester or a year abroad are available for students who would like to study Arabic in an Arabic-speaking country, such as Egypt or Morocco. Find out more by contacting the Center for International Education. Students may transfer up to six credits in Arabic towards the foreign languages minor.
Minor in Arabic Studies
The minor in Arabic Studies is an interdisciplinary minor offered by the foreign languages department. The minor is comprised of 18 credits, including 12 credits of Arabic language, plus two additional courses chosen from history, geography, political science, or additional Arabic courses. Other courses related to the Arabic World may be substituted for the support courses on the list below with permission of the department chairperson.
Required Courses: (12 credits)
- ARA101 Elementary Arabic I
- ARA 102 Elementary Arabic II
- ARA 201 Intermediate Arabic I
- ARA 202 Intermediate Arabic II
Elective Courses: choose two (6 credits)
- ARA 301 Advanced Arabic I
- ARA 302 Advanced Arabic II
- GPH 237 Geography of the Middle East
- HST 237 History of the Middle East
- HST 372 History of Islamic Civilization
Through its partnerships with other universities and study abroad providers, Salem State College's Center for International Education offers Arabic study abroad programs in a variety of international locations.