Rabat Arabic Studies Program

In the heart of Rabat’s medina, students live, learn and explore the language and culture of North Africa and the Middle East. The Rabat Arabic Studies Program immerses students into the language and the culture of this region of the world through life in Morocco’s cosmopolitan capital city. Along with an intensive study of Arabic language, students explore the history, politics and religion of this ever-changing part of the world via coursework, homestays and excursions. This experience is highlighted by an all-inclusive, week-long adventure through Morocco, visiting exciting destinations such as Marrakesh, Fez and the Erg Lihoudi Desert.

Program Curriculum

Students enroll in two intensive language courses offered at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Participants are placed into language courses based on in-country oral proficiency interviews, written exams and previous coursework. In addition, students register for two four-credit electives.Electives are taught in English. Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn a total of sixteen academic credits. Note: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Required Courses

Arabic Language

Students enroll in one or two Arabic language courses (equivalent to one or two of the following four-credit, semester-long courses) according to their level.

CAS LY 111: Elementary Modern Arabic I (4 credits)

The essentials of standard Arabic, the idiom used in public communications throughout the Arab world. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Syllabus

CAS LY 112: Elementary Modern Arabic II (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LY 111: Elementary Modern Arabic I, or the equivalent.) The essentials of standard Arabic, the idiom used in public communications throughout the Arab world. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Syllabus

CAS LY 211: Second-Year Modern Arabic I (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LY 112: Elementary Modern Arabic II, or the equivalent.) Completes the process of presenting the basic structures of modern formal Arabic, concentrating on weak verb forms, more complicated sentence formation, and more sophisticated expression in speech and writing. Vocabulary expansion and better root-pattern identification skills are also stressed. Syllabus

CAS LY 212: Second-Year Modern Arabic II (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LY 211: Second-Year Modern Arabic I, or the equivalent.) Completes the process of presenting the basic structures of modern formal Arabic, concentrating on weak verb forms, more complicated sentence formation, and more sophisticated expression in speech and writing. Vocabulary expansion and better root-pattern identification skills are also stressed. Syllabus

CAS LY 303: Third-Year Modern Arabic I (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LY 212: Second-Year Modern Arabic II, or the equivalent.) Advanced reading, composition, grammar review, listening skills, and conversation in Modern Standard Arabic as well as major dialects such as the Cairine or the Gulf dialect. Syllabus

CAS LY 304: Third-Year Modern Arabic II (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LY 303: Third-Year Modern Arabic I, or the equivalent.) Continuing advanced reading, advanced composition; grammar review, listening skills, and conversation in Modern Standard Arabic as well as major dialects such as the Cairine or the Gulf dialect. Syllabus

CAS LY 403: Advanced Arabic I (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LY 304: Third-Year Modern Arabic II, or the equivalent.) Advanced-level reading and discussion in Modern Standard Arabic of media reports, scholarly articles, modern literary texts, and excerpts from classical writings. Student compositions and presentations in Arabic on topics related to readings. Syllabus

CAS LY 404: Advanced Arabic II (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LY 403: Advanced Arabic I, or the equivalent.) Advanced conversation and composition course in conjunction with the study of famous literary and cinematographic works of the Arabic-speaking world.

Elective Courses

Students register for the following electives. (Taught in English)

CAS HI 354/RN 346: History, Islam and Politics in the Middle East and North Africa (4)

(Formerly CAS HI 384.) This course focuses on the history, politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It will take a social and cultural approach to history to try to better understand the nature of political authority, the complex relationships between Islam and politics, secularization, social movements, the challenges of democracy, and constructions of gender relationships in the MENA region. Syllabus

CAS IR 460: Security Studies and Foreign Policy: Europe and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) (4)

Explores how the colonial experience shaped North African and Middle Eastern culture and society, and how the North African postcolonial state negotiated the legacy of colonialism and responded to the dynamics underpinning global politics. Syllabus

Program Details

Requirements
  • Open to students at all levels of Arabic. (One semester of Arabic language is recommended.)
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: early September to late DecemberPlease note that this program is only offered during the fall semester.
Cost
Credits
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of sixteen credits.
Housing
  • All students are placed in Moroccan households in the medina, where they have their own room and take meals with their hosts.
Application Deadlines
  • Fall Semester: March 15

Download a description of the Rabat Arabic Studies and Rabat Internship Program.

Program Staff
Alissa Kramer, Program Manager

Overseas Staff

  • Wafae Drissi, Director