CLS Arabic العربية

The Arabic Language

The Arabic language has a rich artistic, religious and intellectual history that dates back thousands of years and encompasses a myriad of modern cultures and traditions throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Today, Arabic is spoken by nearly 300 million people and is an official language in over 20 different countries as well as the United Nations, playing a key role in global communications and international affairs. Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) ties the Arabic-speaking world together as the literary written language of official communication, while each region features its own distinct dialect and cultural tradition. The CLS Program focuses on MSA, while giving students the opportunity to develop their colloquial Arabic skills that provide a foundation for building strong relations.

Arabic has been growing in popularity among American students for years and has attracted intellectuals from across the academic spectrum. Whether you're studying economics, anthropology, public health, or history, there is a great demand for proficient Arabic-speakers with on-the-ground experience in the MENA region.

Program Sites


Featured Alumni Profiles

Sarah Whipple
Arabic 2017
Meknes, Morocco
Kyla Harrison
Arabic 2017
Ibri, Oman
Ethan McHugh
Arabic 2017
Ibri, Oman
John Black
Arabic 2017
Amman, Jordan

Arabic Stories

CLS 2017 Application Launches!

We are pleased to announce the opening of the competition for the U.S. Department of State 2017 Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in fourteen critical foreign languages. The CLS Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State... Read more

Teaching Arabic in Utah: Christina Cannon

Christina Cannon (CLS 2014 Arabic) is an Arabic teacher at the high school level in Utah. The CLS Alumni Development Fund helped her attend the annual convention of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) in San Antonio. ... Read more