Why Study Arabic?

Arabic Program

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?

  • Minor in Arabic Studies: The minor in Arabic studies is comprised of six courses (18 credits) four language courses (elementary and intermediate Arabic) plus two electives chosen from courses in history, geography, or additional advanced Arabic language courses. Students may transfer up to fifteen study abroad credits in Arabic towards the Arabic studies minor.
  • Minor in World Languages: The minor in world languages is a combination of any two languages offered in the department. Students may count study in Arabic towards the world languages minor.
  • There are free Arabic tutors available for students of Arabic through the Language Resource Center.
  • 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.
A several students riding donkeys in Morocco flash the peace sign, with Moroccans leading the donkeys.

Through its partnerships with other universities and study abroad providers, Salem State University's Center for International Education offers Arabic study abroad programs in a variety of international locations.