Arabic Studies Scholarships

Gain Valuable Knowledge of Arabic Language and Culture

Of all the choices of language you have when it comes to committing your studies to one, Arabic is perhaps the most red-hot due to its presence in the Middle East, and can be instrumental in global business, politics and economics. The culture and saturated heritage that goes along with the Arabic language is likewise an international hub of interest, demand, research, and dissection. A post-secondary study of the combination of Arab language and culture will be a captivating endeavor for any student with interest in the region.

If you choose to pursue Arab studies, rest assured in the staying power, relevance and usefulness of your degree. The Arab area of the world has been a conundrum of religious, social, and political struggles for centuries and will most likely not cease to be one anytime soon.

Your studies of the Arabic language and culture can open up doors to a host of fascinating and heavily in-demand career choices. Business and industry is increasingly hiring high-level professionals with multi-lingual abilities, particularly Arabic, as globalization and the merging of peoples continues across the map. A degree in Arabic studies would be an asset to students looking forward to a range of careers in government, teaching, law, communications, international finance, and industry.arabic studies scholarships

To fund your potential education in Arabic studies, there are quite a few generous benefactors who are dedicated to financially supporting those who will shape the future of the Middle East. The following scholarships, among others, originate from both public and private programs and are in place to help you pay for your degree.

Scholarship Programs

The American University in Cairo

The Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA) offers a number of fellowships to qualified students for either a summer program or full year of language and culture study through the University of Texas Austin. The fellowships provide funds to cover the cost of round-trip transportation, tuition, and an allowance for living expenses, 2,100 Egyptian pounds/month, or approximately $360. Fellowship recipients are required to pay a program fee after accepting this award. Nonetheless, it is a generous opportunity not to be missed.

To be considered, applicants must be citizens of the United States, planning on a career in Middle Eastern Studies, and have taken Arabic-language courses at the post-secondary level for two or three years. Successful applicants will also have passed the CASA Selection Exam. Applicants will have the opportunity to take the exam at a school in their area.

Georgetown University

Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service is the overarching force behind the Qatar Scholarship Program which will be of interest to any student dedicated to the hands-on full throttle pursuit of Middle Eastern and Arabic studies. The program, which runs for an entire academic year in Doha, is for those who are already at an intermediate level with their Arabic and want to develop their understanding of the language and culture even further.

US citizens eligible for the Qatar Scholarship must have already completed two years of Arabic, must have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, and must have a high demonstrated personal and career interest in continuing their studies of Arabic within the immersion context of the Middle East. Applicants will submit transcripts, an application form, letters of recommendation and a comprehensive statement of purpose to be considered for this generous award.

The Arab American Institute

The Arab American Institute is a hub for nicely organized resources for both American students of Arab descent and Arab students studying in the US, as well as acting as a database for a host of other scholarships for both Arab and American students. It will be a superb overall information center for your foray into finding scholarships for the study of Arabic.

For example, the Arab American Institute is a proponent of the Qalam wa Lawh Center for Arabic Studies. The Center offers the Ibn Battuta Merit Scholarships for Arabic Peace and Diplomacy. Applicants will answer the essay question “What do you hope to achieve through your study of the Arabic language?” in 1000 words or less, as part of their completed application. This award will send students to study Arabic in the Middle East on a semester or summer basis, and covers all tuition and housing costs of the program.

Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice

Any student attracted towards the political, historical and socio-religious context of studies in Arabic who wants to work for a better world will be interested in this scholarship for students at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington. Its namesake, Rachel Corrie, was brutally killed in the streets by a bulldozer in Gaza while defending a Palestinian home against destruction. This memorial has been established in her honor to further explore potential peace in the Middle East.

Arabic policy, language, and judicial studies are all covered under the umbrella of what successful applicants might be interested in pursuing. Along with the application, students are asked to submit letters of recommendation and an essay or art project that is geared towards the promotion of peace and understanding in the Middle East. The scholarship is $2,000 for one year of schooling.

Simpson Scholarship

At a lesser level of endowment than the above, the Simpson Scholarship through UCLA’s International Education Office provides $2,500 per semester for a maximum of two semesters to deserving students dedicated to the study of Arabic. Students of any nationality currently studying at a university outside of Egypt are eligible to apply for funding from this program.

Portland State University, Middle East Studies Center

Portland State University in Portland, Oregon offers three or four scholarship awards each year to outstanding students of its Middle East Studies Center. U.S. students studying Arabic, Turkish, or Persian languages with a GPA of 3.25 or higher are eligible to apply for a Gary and Patricia Leiser Scholarship, which provides $500 in renewable funding. A completed application form, current transcripts, and a personal essay must be submitted in order to be considered.

Also, the Elizabeth Ducey Scholarship is offered to students studying any Middle Eastern language at PSU, either at the undergraduate or graduate level. Up to $600 in funding will be given to successful applicants; the average amount awarded is $200. Once awarded, the monies can be used to pay for study abroad.

Yet another scholarship offered by PSU is the Noury and Lamia al-Khaledy Scholarship for Arabic Studies. Three or four such scholarships are awarded each year. Both undergraduate and graduate students with a GPA of 3.4 or higher and who have studied Arabic for two years or more are eligible to apply. Both academic performance and financial need are taken into account when selecting recipients of these renewable scholarships.

The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Middle Eastern Studies

The program at UT – Austin is one of the most developed and plentiful offerings for Middle Eastern Studies in the US, with a major emphasis on service as globalization continues to stretch the world in new ways. As such, they provide several scholarships for those in the department who show exemplary promise and talent.

The Ann Grabhorn Friday Endowed Presidential Fellowship in Middle Eastern Studies provides a stipend of $5,000 to students pursuing a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies at UT. Preference is given to female students interested in studying Arabic. The funds can be used either toward studying at the UT campus or to study abroad.

The University of Pennsylvania, Middle East Center

The Middle Easter Center for studies at the University of Pennsylvania possesses an interdisciplinary focus and a broad array of course options for the promotion of and education in Arab history, culture and language.

The Janet Lee Stevens Graduate Fellowship is awarded each year to an exceptional graduate student who has distinguished him/herself academically and has taken steps to improve the understanding of and relations with people from the Arab World. A stipend of up to $4,100 is paid and the recipient can choose to use these funds for tuition, books, travel expenses, conducting research and more.

More Choices in Arab Studies

In your pursuit of award funding for this exotic goal, don’t forget to check with those resources closest to home. Get in touch with your college’s or university’s financial aid department, study abroad department, and/or Arab Studies department to see if they may have anything further to offer you. Don’t neglect the Arabic studies incentives that may be available for you at state schools like the University of Texas or the University of Pennsylvania. These are every bit as valuable as those that stem from international resources in Cairo or big government organizations.

Other good local resources that you might not have thought of include Islamic houses of worship, Arab-American ambassadorial associations, or centers of foreign language study. If you choose to seek them out, there may be other funding opportunities available through these organizations in your local community. There are plenty of individual and institutional benefactors who are sure to have monetary incentives in the form of scholarships, grants, or travel funds for a student pursuing such a culturally relevant and worldly degree that is so pertinent to US interest. Be sure to use the Arab American Institute as a central resource for furthering your connection with the Arab world, as their financial aid database acts as a kind of final word on the spectrum of opportunities that are available to American students.


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