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Arabic Language and Literature

Arabic Language and Literature

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The Arabic language courses combine Modern Standard and Levantine colloquial Arabic. This model enables students to engage verbally with the local population in our off-campus study site in Jordan and with Arabic speakers on campus. In addition, it provides them with instruction in the written language common to the Arabic-speaking world. Upper-level Arabic courses are part of the GLCA Shared Languages Program which allows Earlham students to take courses with Arabic professors at other participating GLCA schools, significantly increasing the course offerings for students at the advanced level.

Because of Earlham’s connections in the Middle East, there are always a number of Arabic speaking students on campus. These native speakers provide a rich resource for the students who choose to study the language.

Earlham also has an interdisciplinary program in Middle East Studies.

Special Learning Opportunities

Our current off-campus program, based in Amman, Jordan, introduces students to the diversity, commonalities and trends that shape the modern Middle East. Through a focus on civil society, contemporary religion, conflict resolution and language, program participants grapple with the complexities of the region.

Currently, internships make up part of the Jordan off-campus study program. Students will be placed in an internship with a company or organization in Amman that matches their interests.


Students who have taken Arabic at Earlham and participated in the Jordan semester abroad program have gone on to several different post-graduate opportunities. Among these are the Watson Fellowship, the Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship in Jordan, Quaker volunteer opportunities with the Ramallah Friends School in Palestine, Graduate school in the Social Sciences or the Humanities, or directly into work with groups serving displaced peoples who have migrated to the United States.

One of our students received a Watson Fellowship and followed that experience by working with a humanitarian aid group in the Levant. Another graduate is employed with a service organization working with recent migrants from the Middle East. A recent alumnus is in a Ph.D. program in Ethnomusicology.

Winona Hawker-Boehnke
Seek Truth(s) in the Middle East

In spring semester of her junior year Winona Hawker-Boehnke’14 went on an off-campus program to Jordan to learn more about the U.S. role in the Middle East. Earlham has about 20 off-campus programs located throughout the world, allowing students a remarkable opportunity to get more out of their education beyond just what they learn in a classroom.

Distinctively Earlham
Earlham now offers a minor in Arabic Language and cooperates closely with Arabic programs at other GLCA schools to offer more upper-level subject courses.


Earlham supports a Middle East Theme House, a student residence; Students for Peace and Justice in Palestine, a student organization; and the Muslim Student Association, a student religious group. Students share their interest in the culture, politics and religion of the Middle East and organize activities open to the Earlham community.
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