The Arabic program at Grinnell introduces students to Arabic language and culture. All courses are taught in Arabic, and all provide intensive work in oral and written expression. The department’s language curriculum can be complemented with courses on the Middle East and North Africa that are offered at the college in diverse areas such as History, Religious Studies, Anthropology, and Political Science.
In conjunction with their on-campus study, students can go on one of several off-campus study programs in the Middle East and North Africa in order to develop their language skills and their knowledge of these regions.
Campus life offers many opportunities to speak Arabic and to discuss Arabic-related topics. The weekly Arabic Table and other activities give students a chance to deepen their linguistic skills and cultural knowledge. The Arabic Assistant, an Arabic native speaker who lives on campus, leads conversation classes and interacts with students in many extra-curricular contexts. In addition, the college often hosts artists, scholars, and government officers who work in or study the Middle East.
A knowledge of Arabic prepares students for careers in diplomacy, international affairs, international trade, business, nonprofit work, and education.