Many students spend a semester or a year in an Arabic-speaking country. The College is affiliated with a number of carefully selected programs in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa. All of these programs emphasize immersion in the language and the culture of the country. Besides taking formal academic courses, students are involved in a wide range of experiential activities including community service. Many of the programs offer the opportunity to do internships, and all integrate field trips and aspects of the local area into students' course-work.
In order to find the program best suited to their individual needs, students work closely with faculty advisers from a variety of disciplines and with the Office of Off-Campus Study. Grinnell students currently study Arabic in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. While abroad, students can concentrate on the study of language or on Middle Eastern Studies. Students of French and Arabic can study both of these languages in Morocco.
Students’ programs of study include, for example:
- Modern Standard Arabic along with Egyptian, Jordanian or Moroccan colloquial Arabic
- Modern Arabic Literature
- Islamic Art and Architecture
- Contemporary History of Morocco and the Middle East
- Gender, Islam, and Society
- Political Systems in the Maghreb
- Contemporary Politics in the Middle East
- Islam and the West
- The New Middle East
- Economic Development in the Middle East
- International Relations in the Middle East and North Africa
In addition, students attending the American University of Provence program in Marseille can take a course in Arabic and study topics such as Islam and Middle East politics. The program also includes a week-long field trip to Morocco. Likewise, the IES program in Granada has a strong focus on Spain’s Moorish heritage as well as on its links with the Arab world today. It is possible to combine a semester of study in Marseille or Granada with a second semester in an Arabic-speaking country.
After returning to Grinnell, students are encouraged to develop their off-campus experience by incorporating it into further course-work or individual projects, or by sharing it with the campus and local community in the form of oral presentations.
For more information, please visit Off-Campus Study.
Activities and Organizations
Students and faculty meet Mondays at noon in Rosenfield Center, Room 224B for lunch informal Arabic conversation. Speakers of all levels are welcome to attend.
Salma Abouhatab, the Arabic teaching assistant, holds office hours in A2240 on Mondays–Fridays, 1–3 p.m.