Each summer, ARCE conducts an intensive Arabic language program for American university students who have been selected to participate in the highly competitive Critical Languages Scholarship (CLS) program made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of State through the Council of American Oversees Research Centers (CAORC). From day one, students are given opportunities to put into practice everything they learn in the classroom, whether they are buying water from the local shopkeeper, a magazine from the man on the corner or with families visiting the cultural heritage sites. Advanced students gain additional exposure to modern Egyptian culture during their weekly volunteer opportunities with non-governmental organizations throughout the city.
Leanne Jade Phoevitz
Leanna Jade Pohevitz - "The trip has changed my life, no questions asked. I saw how necessary learning to communicate truly is, how important it is to begin to inhabit other people's worlds. It has further solidified my intended career path. I knew I wanted to be involved in the Foreign Service but since this trip I decided I would study much earlier than I had originally intended. I've learned a lot about the way the modern is so tightly linked with the past."
Aileen Byrne - "I feel so much more
comfortable speaking Arabic now, and my favorite part of every day was going out on my own to speak Arabic with people in the city. I befriended a family one night while I was shoe shopping that owned the shoe store and within 20 minutes I was eating dinner with them. It seems like my whole trip was a collection of little stories like these, all of which added to my language development."
Sam Marrero speaking with children
Sam Marrero - "A highlight of the ARCE language program for me was the weekly volunteer experience that provided the opportunity to use my language skills in a real-world setting. I volunteered at the Alwan wa Awtar summer youth program running trust-building activities and teaching English. Due to the excellent instruction I received, I was able to utilize the Egyptian dialect in my classroom as a way to more effectively teach my young students. I made presentations on my background, family, and American culture. I felt I was able to genuinely connect with the children in their language."
Sarah Christine Ferguson - "This summer's experience in Cairo was
Sarah Christine Ferguson
about far more than just language. It was also about finding inspiration and motivation for my studies at home by interacting with the same monuments I've studied for years, in an environment where people were warm, welcoming, and happy to help me with my Arabic. Learning a language in its native environment is not just grammar and sentence structure, but about using new found skills to enjoy more meaningful connections, be it professionally, personally, or culturally."
Joey Huddleston - "The main effect studying in Cairo has had on me has been to give me a respect and love for the city of Cairo and the Egyptian nation at large. Because of my time there, I've decided to come back to work and do research in Egypt after my bachelor's degree. More than anything, this experience has begun to provide me with the language tools I'll need in my studies and my career. As one who wants to work in the Middle East, I'm so grateful to have been granted the opportunity."