Summer Intensive Arabic Classes in Beirut

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Location: Lebanese American University, Beirut campus

During summer, The SINARC program offers four levels of intensive courses in Arabic language and culture. Since LAU, one of the top institutions of higher education and research in Lebanon and the region, is accredited by the New England Commission for Higher Education (NECHE) your credits are transferrable. Upon successfully completing the SINARC program, you will receive an official LAU transcript that makes your credits transferrable to most institutions of higher education across the globe.

Levels * Elementary Upper Elementary Intermediate Advanced Credits
Courses offered Modern Standard Arabic - Fusha (fuṣḥá) 6
Additional courses Lebanese Dialect  (with sufficient enrollment) 2
Total credits Credits transferable to the student’s home institution 8 credits

* Placement exams will be administered at the beginning of the program to determine each student’s appropriate course levels.

Formal instruction in language is enriched by immersion in an authentic cultural context. Cultural activities include weekly lectures on topics related to Arab and Lebanese politics, history, society, and culture, as well as excursions to historic, touristic and cultural sites in Beirut and throughout Lebanon.

Courses 

All classes are held in air-conditioned classrooms and lecture halls, Monday through Friday. A complete schedule will be given at the beginning of the term. 

Textbooks

  • Alif-Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds (Brustad, et. al.)
  • Al-Kitaab fil Ta’allum al-’Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic, Parts One, Two and Three (Brustad, et. al.)

Course descriptions

SIN 101 - Elementary Arabic (6 credits)

This elementary course is designed for students who have no knowledge of Modern Standard Arabic. It offers a unique opportunity for descendants of Arabic- speakers to revive their lost language and cultural ties with their ancestors’ land. The course is open to the general public, students of Middle Eastern studies, business people, embassy officials and children of foreign nationals stationed in the Middle East. In this course, Arabic language instruction aims for basic proficiency in the four language skills: speaking, reading, writing, and listening. By the end of the course, students are able to handle many daily life situations, such as identifying the self and others, naming familiar objects and people, telling time, asking for directions, describing places of residence and national origins, ordering food and drink.

Students registering for Elementary Arabic must also register for Lebanese Dialect, Level I or Level II.

SIN 111 - Upper Elementary Arabic (6 credits)

Students must have completed approximately one semester of Arabic (or the equivalent) to be able to join this class. They must have the ability to read and write using Arabic script, have a limited working vocabulary and a basic understanding of sentence structure and other basic grammatical concepts. This course is a continuation of Elementary Arabic and expands on all four skills of language learning; reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Students registering for Upper Elementary Arabic must also register for Lebanese Dialect, Level I or Level II.SIN 201 - Intermediate Arabic I (6 credits)

SIN 202 - Intermediate Arabic II (6 credits)

This course is a continuation of Intermediate Arabic I and expands on students’ acquisition of vocabulary and grammar skills. At the end of this course, students will be able to read longer authentic Arabic texts with greater ease. They will be able to write short essays and give short presentations.

SIN 301 - Advanced Arabic  (6 credits)

Students placed in the advanced level should have completed the equivalent of two or more years of Arabic in college. They will have acquired a broad vocabulary and mastered basic Arabic syntax and morphology. Class sessions aim to help students attain proficiency in expository and argumentative discourse and to handle a variety of communicative tasks. Reading, writing, and listening activities address various styles of texts covering areas of literature, culture, history, and the social sciences.
Students registering for Advanced Arabic must also register for Lebanese Dialect, Level I or Level II.

SIN 302 - Advanced Arabic II (6 credits)

Students placed in the advanced level should have completed the equivalent of two or more years of Arabic in college. They have acquired a broad vocabulary and have mastered basic Arabic syntax and morphology. Class sessions aim to help students attain proficiency in expository and argumentative discourse and to handle a variety of communicative tasks. Reading, writing and listening activities address various styles of language texts covering areas in literature, culture, history, and the social sciences.

Students registering for Advanced Arabic must also register for Lebanese Dialect, Level I or Level II.

SIN 211 - Intensive Lebanese Dialect (8 credits) 

Enrollment permitting, the SINARC program will offer an intensive, eight-credit course in the Lebanese dialect. This course is designed for students who have attained intermediate to advanced level proficiency in Modern Standard Arabic. Students are regularly given practice assignments that involve using the dialect outside the classroom throughout Lebanon.

Course requires sufficient enrollment.

SIN 105 - Lebanese Dialect, Level I (2 credits)

Students placed in this level have no previous knowledge of the dialect. The aim of this course is to provide students of Modern Standard Arabic with an opportunity to learn the basics of the Lebanese dialect. Students in this level will learn to communicate with native speakers in various daily situations.

SIN 106 - Lebanese Dialect, Level II (2 credits)

This course is designed for students who have had some exposure to the Lebanese dialect. The classes will enable students to practice their speaking skills and improve their pronunciation and fluency. Students will converse on topics using description, narration and argumentation.

SIN 107 - Lebanese Dialect, Level III (2 credits)

The class is designed to help Students Bridge between their knowledge of the Modern Standard Arabic and the Lebanese dialect through various means of interpretations of newspaper articles and current issues as presented through the many media mediums available in Lebanon and the Middle East.

Costs 

Tuition ($400 per credit) 3,200
Dorm (Sharing) 1,180
School, personal, accidents and insurance policy 15
Excursions (touristic entrance fees, transportation, and one overnight stay) 331
TOTAL $4,726

Notes:

  • Application fee: $65
  • Single occupancy:  $551 extra depending on availability
  • Health insurance: $88
    Participants are required to purchase comprehensive health insurance, unless they can provide evidence of comparable coverage. Emergency health insurance for coverage over the duration of the program may be purchased through LAU upon arrival.
  • Transportation for arrival and departure between Beirut International Airport and LAU-Beirut is provided for SINARC students (residing in the LAU dorm only) free of charge. Additional transportation needs within Lebanon are the responsibility of students. Taxi and bus services are reasonably priced in Lebanon.
  • Meals and round trip travel to Beirut, books, and supplies are not included in the above costs.
  • While ATMs are available and credit cards are widely accepted in Lebanon, cash is the most convenient form of currency. American dollars are legal tender in Lebanon. Other currencies are easily exchanged in banks or exchange counters at official rates. 
  • Deposit and tuition payments may be made by check, bank transfer or credit card.
  • Refund Clause: Please note that there will be no refunds on program fees after the start of the session, unless the University cancels the program for unforeseen reasons.

Travel, visa and transportation 

Arrival

To give you time to settle in, we advise all SINARC students to arrive in Lebanon two or three days prior to the beginning of the program.

Transportation

SINARC students residing in LAU dorms can enjoy free transportation between Beirut International Airport and LAU-Beirut.

Visa

  • Non-Lebanese citizens are required to obtain a three-month tourist visa.
  • US citizens and most European citizens can obtain visas at Beirut International Airport for $35 or LBP 50,000 (cash only).
  • Visas can also be obtained in advance through the Lebanese consulates in the countries of origin. Citizens of countries other than the US should check with their embassies for information concerning visas to Lebanon.

Accommodation

Accommodation can be provided in air-conditioned, double-occupancy rooms located on the LAU Beirut campus, where the SINARC program takes place. Single occupancy is available for an extra fee and is dependent on availability; prices for lodging differ depending on the semester. 

What to pack

One set of linens, including two towels and a set of sheets are provided with accommodation, and should you need additional sheets or prefer a more frequent laundering schedule, we advise you to pack extras and make use of the dormitory laundry facilities. We also advise you to pack a beach towel.

Campus Facilities 

During the first week of your SINARC classes, you will be issued with a student ID card that gives you full access to all campus facilities, including the library, computer labs, language lab and recreational amenities (indoor Olympic-size swimming pool, indoor basketball court, tennis courts and gym). You will also be assigned an email account and have access to free WIFI throughout the program. All dorm rooms are equipped with WIFI, and student lounges have computer stations available, free of charge for dorm residents. In addition, limited kitchen facilities are located in the dorms.

Cultural Experience

Where learning a language immerses you in the region

SINARC programs give students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and diverse culture of Lebanon and the region from their base in the city of Beirut, one of the most dynamic and vibrant cities in the Arab world. SINARC’s rigorous academic curriculum is complemented by a rich extracurricular and cultural program featuring lectures, films, clubs, excursions, and activities with LAU’s Arab Institute for Women and Institute for Migration Studies, as well as with volunteering with local NGOs.​

​​​From the very beginning, as a SINARC student you will be expected to commit to speaking Arabic throughout all classes and activities in order to maximize your learning experience and use of Arabic language. With SINARC’s cultural program, you will find a wealth of opportunities to support you throughout your Arabic speaking journey while immersing you in the culture along the way!

Dive deeper into the region’s pressing topics

Get to know the complexities of the region from a historical context and the hot topics that are shaping it today through SINARC’s weekly program of lectures for students. The following are examples of typical lecture topics:

  • Lebanon: history and demographics
  • MENA geopolitics & the Arab-Israeli conflict
  • Gender justice and social and political activism
  • Vulnerable & marginalized populations (refugees, the LGBTQ community, human rights advocacy)
  • The confessional politics of Lebanon
  • Media and propaganda
  • The power of activism: assessing the impact of NGOs in Lebanon
  • International migration of the highly skilled: a Lebanese perspective

Explore beyond the classroom

Take your language lessons out onto the streets! From buying street food to hiking through Lebanon’s famous mountains, SINARC’s cultural excursions give you plenty of opportunities to practice the language way beyond the classroom. Before you take off, you’ll enjoy in-class activities related to your upcoming trips, and when you return there’ll be assignments to enhance your takeaways from the experience. While out on excursion, your groups will be small enough to make sure you are able to interact and chat in Arabic with the people you meet along the way.

Your excursions are devised to offer diverse experiences, from exploring sites of historical, religious, political or natural significance to browsing museums, art galleries, neighborhoods, workshops, cafes, shops and more.

SINARC’s excursions may include any of the following:

  • Jeita Grotto
  • Arab and Roman ruins in Baalbek
  • Cedars of Lebanon
  • Historical palaces in Beiteddine and Deir al-Qamar
  • Tour of South Lebanon: Sidon/Tyre
  • Beirut city tour
  • Byblos oldest inhabited city in the world (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Cedars of God and Becharre: Gibran Khalil Gibran Museum
  • Beirut National Museum
  • Hiking: Qadisha Valley
  • Sursock Museum
  • Banque du Liban Museum
  • Old city of Tripoli
  • Related visits: camps/NGOs/ministries/parliament

Excursion fees are included in your student association fee for the fall and spring terms, while a specific excursion fee is applicable for the summer term. Cultural trips to Syria are currently on hold due to the political situation.

Gain another perspective through movie screenings 

Get to know Lebanon’s culture through the eyes of its talented film-makers with screenings of hit movies that span the genres of drama and comedy.

  • West Beyrouth
  • Where Do We Go Now?
  • Caramel
  • Rue Huvelin
  • Ghadi
  • The Insult
  • Heritage
  • Zozo
  • Morine
  • Blind intersections
  • Beirut Hotel
  • Tannoura Maxi
  • Very Big Shot
  • Yalla Aa’belkon
  • Under the Bombs
  • Stray Bullet
  • The Kite
  • Safar Barlik
  • Bosta
  • Habbet Loulou
  • The Valley

Get practicing with your language Buddy

As a SINARC student you will be assigned a language buddy for the entirety of the program. Your language buddy is there to support and encourage you to put the Arabic you learn into practice in your daily life and therefore maximize your learning potential.

Experience culture on campus

SINARC organizes a range of cultural activities that take place on campus for your convenience, giving you valuable opportunities to get to know the region in more depth. From learning to dance the dabke to cooking your favorite Lebanese mezze, and from exploring traditional music to the art of calligraphy, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Dance
  • Gastronomy: food and identity
  • Calligraphy
  • Art: music, theater, poetry,
  • Middle Eastern music workshop
  • Performing arts: dabke 101
  • Lebanese cuisine: how to make your favorite Lebanese mezze

Dine at home with a Lebanese family

At weekends, experience the warmth of Lebanese hospitality and the true taste of Lebanese cuisine through dinner with a local family selected for you by SINARC.

Instructors

SINARC’s instructors are native Arabic speakers with solid educational credentials ranging from bachelor’s to PhD degrees, combined with extensive, often decades-long-teaching experience. Small-sized classes ensure that you receive plenty of individual attention in the classroom. Additional highly qualified faculty and assistants trained in total-immersion oral-proficiency methodology are recruited from within Lebanon and the best Arabic programs around the world.