Summer Arabic Program 2024

Current UMN students: Register starting Feb. 22
Non-UMN students: Register starting Feb. 29
Back by popular demand in Summer 2024: Arabic Calligraphy on Wednesday evenings!
Option to combine language courses with our Arabic Calligraphy course.
At the University of Minnesota, you will find highly qualified instructors with experience teaching intensive language and immersion classes; small class sizes that allow for a focus on every individual student; and an interactive learning environment with proven success in the development of proficiency in speaking, listening, writing and reading. Our language classes are supported by dedicated tutors and an enriching cultural program. We welcome college-level learners at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as non-degree-seeking students, including high school juniors and seniors! 


We will be offering all 2024 Summer Arabic courses in person. 

Complete an entire year of Arabic study in only ten weeks by taking either ARAB 1101 and 1102, or 3101 and 3102. 

ARAB 1101 - Beginning Arabic I 

After learning the Arabic script, you will develop your ability to communicate in Arabic about yourself, your community, and your environment. You will learn to speak, write, read, and listen to meet the demands of daily life. You will learn to inquire about others and negotiate meaning with them, and to interpret concise print, oral, and digital texts. You will also begin to explore the rich cultural diversity of the Arab world. This class is taught following a communicative and interactive approach and is focused on practice. It equates a full semester of Arabic and includes practice of both Modern Standard Arabic and a dialect. 

Meeting Days and Times: MTWRF, 9:05 am - 12:20 pm, June 3 - July 5 (five weeks, five credits)

Prerequisites: none

ARAB 1102 - Beginning Arabic II

This class is the continuation of ARAB-1101. You practice communicating in Arabic in past, present and future to meet the demands of daily life. Topics include pastimes, schedules, lifestyles, travel, planning for the future, and more. By the end of the class, you will be an Intermediate-level Arabic user. This course equates a full semester of Arabic and includes practice of both Modern Standard Arabic and a dialect. 

Meeting Days and Times: MTWRF, 9:05 am - 12:05 pm, July 8 - August 9 (five weeks, five credits)

Prerequisites: ARAB 1101/4101 or placement test


ARAB 3101 - Intermediate Arabic I

In Intermediate Arabic you learn to communicate in a more sustained fashion and tackle more complex topics, authentic print/digital texts, and grammar. Conversations, written pieces and presentations in this practice-oriented course become lengthier and more intricate. This course equates a full semester of Arabic and includes practice of both Modern Standard Arabic and a dialect. 

Meeting Days and Times: MTWRF, 9:05 am - 12:20 pm, June 3 - July 5 (five weeks, five credits)

Prerequisites: ARAB 1102/4102 or placement test

ARAB 3102 - Intermediate Arabic II 

In Intermediate Arabic II, your language use in conversation, written pieces, and presentations continues to increase in accuracy and complexity. Topics in this course move beyond those of the personal sphere to include immigration, a variety of cultural practices, the media, and education systems. This course equates a full semester of Arabic and includes practice of both Modern Standard Arabic and a dialect. 

Meeting Days and Times: MTWRF, 9:05 am - 12:05 pm, July 8 - August 9 (five weeks, five credits)

Prerequisites: ARAB 3101/4121 or placement test


ARAB 3201 - Arabic Calligraphy

In this one-credit course, you will study the history of Arabic calligraphy and explore various calligraphic styles. You will learn about the work of well-known Arab calligraphers, and about the ways in which visual artists from the Arab world have incorporated calligraphy into their work. Topics we will discuss include the Thuluth script; the Diwani script; the Kufic script; the Ruq‘a script; famous calligraphers through time; calligraphy during the early Islamic era; calligraphy during the Umayyad and Abbasid era; calligraphy during the Ottoman era; street calligraphy; and digital calligraphy. Additionally, you will practice creating your own calligraphic work under the guidance of your instructor.

Meeting Days and Times: four Wednesday evenings, June 5 through July 3, 5:15 - 8:20 pm 

Prerequisites: This course is open to learners of Arabic of all levels as well as community members. Minimal familiarity with the letters of the Arabic alphabet is expected, but this can be developing f.ex. by simultaneously taking an introductory Arabic language course. This course can be taken on its own or in combination with one of our Arabic language courses. 


Who Will Be My Instructor? 
Our summer courses are taught by our regular, full-time teaching staff, all of whom have extensive experience in the field of Teaching Arabic as a World Language. Our areas of expertise include world language pedagogy; Arabic linguistics; Arabic literature and poetry; various forms of colloquial Arabic (Egyptian, Jordanian, and Gulf Arabic); and Arabic calligraphy. Our Arabic instructors go the extra mile to make themselves available to students for extra help after class, and organize and participate in our cultural events. Find more about us here

Extra-Curricular Activities
The Arabic Program maintains a vibrant schedule of cultural programming throughout the academic year and in summer. Our cultural events are open to our Arabic students and the general public. At our weekly Arabic conversation table, students of all levels can practice conversation in fusha (Standard Arabic) as well as Arabic colloquials. In addition, our extra-curricular events for summer include Arabic film screenings and Arabic dialect and calligraphy workshops. 

An Additional Summer Program Benefit
We are pleased to offer cost-free Advisory ACTFL Arabic proficiency ratings to all students in our Summer Arabic courses at the end of the Summer 2024 Program. These ratings reflect ACTFL's internationally recognized scale of language proficiency levels. They are an asset for job and college applications, in addition to providing learners with helpful insights into their Arabic speaking skills. The proficiency ratings are based on a one-on-one interview with an Arabic instructor who is a certified ACTFL Arabic proficiency tester. 
Qatar Foundation International School Break Arabic Program Awards for High School Learners - Apply by March 31!
Thanks to generous financial support from Qatar Foundation International, we are pleased to once again offer a robust number of summer Arabic study awards for high school juniors and seniors in the Twin Cities area! High school learners interested in applying for an award will need to be sixteen years of age at the start of their summer course. They may be high school seniors graduating in Spring 2024.   
The awards cover tuition for one or several summer Arabic courses, as well as course textbooks. With their award, recipients can take ARAB 1101 - Beginning Arabic I and/or ARAB 1102 - Beginning Arabic II; ARAB 3101 - Intermediate Arabic I and/or ARAB 3102 - Intermediate Arabic II; and/or Arabic Calligraphy. 
Applications for the QFI School Break awards are due March 31! Please visit for details and application instructions.  
What Our Students Are Saying
"The Summer Intensive Arabic Program is an excellent introduction to the language. The coursework is challenging, fun, and effective. I cannot think of a better way to begin a serious study of Arabic. I had a great time while forming friendships with my classmates and learning a great deal about the cultures of the Arabic-speaking world."
- Benjamin Hansen (PhD Candidate in History)
"I have just been so impressed with the teaching here. The facilities are fine, the textbooks are good, but it is the teaching that's just really outstanding I think. I would recommend the Program to anybody who is interested in really learning the language well. We cover so many different aspects of language learning...but it's been just a terrific experience and the teacher is very helpful while also having very high expectations. So it has met every expectation that I had, and even more than that for learning Arabic. I would recommend it to anybody." 
- Stephen Self (Non-Degree Seeking Student) 
"To me, the Summer Arabic program was a healthy catalyst for growth and a necessity for rapid maturity. Though such a focused program is certainly no light commitment and perseverance is required, the benefits of completing it surely exceed the effort spent."
- David Munson (Political Science Major)
Placement Testing 

To register for ARAB 1102/4102; ARAB 3101/4121; or ARAB 3102/4122, you either need to have successfully completed the prerequisite course for these courses, or pass an Arabic placement test. Details about placement testing will become available in February 2024. Email [email protected] with questions about the placement test or to schedule a test appointment. 

How to Register
UMN students register for summer in the same manner they register for any other semester, and can do so starting on February 22. 

Non-UMN students, including high school students, register as "non-degree seeking students." Follow these steps to complete your registration as a non-degree-seeking student. Non-UMN students can register starting on February 29. 

Have Questions? 

Email Dr. Katrien Vanpee with inquiries about our summer courses and our cultural programming, to schedule a placement test, and/or to receive updates about our summer program information session at [email protected].