Why Study Arabic?
Learning Arabic can benefit anyone majoring or minoring in International Relations, Political Science, Comparative Literature, Islamic Studies, Religion, History, Anthropology, Social Studies, African Studies, Women’s Studies, Linguistics, and many other fields. A Knowledge of Arabic is in great demand and has offered recent college graduates high-paying job opportunities. Also, numerous short and long-term scholarships in Arabic Studies are available through Federal agencies.
St. Lawrence University offers now a minor in Arabic Studies.
Below are some of our students’ testimonies:
“I have chosen to learn Arabic for a number of reasons. Firstly there is a high demand and low supply of Arabic-speakers in the Western world. With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, the demand for speakers of Arabic is steadily increasing. Secondly, Arabic-speaking nations are a fast growing market for trade. Initiatives to integrate the Arab world into the global economy are opening up many new business opportunities. The Arab region provides a huge export market for goods and services. In order to do business effectively, one must understand the language and culture of the people with whom one hopes to negotiate and conduct trade. Finally, I have always wanted to work for an international aid organization. One of the main requirements for working in such organizations is linguistic ability. I am already a fluent speaker of Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, and English, and would like to add one more language to that list so that in the future I have a good chance of getting to my dream career working for an Aid agency in the complicated Arab-Muslim world.”– Abid Amiri ‘11
“St. Lawrence stresses cultural understanding and preparing students for global citizenship. Learning Arabic is the best way to start grasping the political, economic and social significance Arab culture has in today’s world. My two months in Arabic have been an eye-opening contrast to the negative perception of Arabic culture as it is too often portrayed in our media. The militants and terrorists are, unfortunately, the only Arabic people most of us are exposed to. But after learning about the language, religious traditions, music and other aspects of their culture, I have come to realize that the violent reputation of the culture does not apply to the majority of the population” – Peter Carpenter ‘12
“As the Middle East continues to grow in power, being able to speak and read Arabic will be very useful to me. It opens up career opportunities in Foreign Service, the defense sector or in diplomacy.” – Caroline Bright ‘12