Top Reasons to Learn Arabic

10. Prepare yourself for a career (diplomacy, business, journalism, academia, law enforcement, etc.) in Canada or the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region

robert fantina“I'm a journalist, and I write extensively about Palestine. I want to learn Arabic so when I visit Palestine next year, I can at least ask some basic questions, and have some basic conversation.” Robert Fantina, Journalist, The MintPress (currently studying Arabic language at Renison)

9. Apply it to your academic program and research

imran“Upon graduation, I plan to pursue the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities at the Institute of Ismaili Studies, London. Learning the foundations of the Arabic language from the Studies in Islam at University of Waterloo will undoubtedly be an asset when applying for the program. This program has provided me the chance to grown an in-depth understanding of the Islamic faith which will serve as a foundation for my continued studies in this field.” Imran Visram, current Arabic language student

8. Get the tools to think and communicate globally

“Arabic is the official language to over 20 countries and there are more than 300 million native speakers of the language. There a high demand with low supply of Arabic speakers in western world.” Tariq Hasan, current Arabic language student 

7. Become culturally competent and promote intercultural understanding in your professional and private life.

amir al-azraki“Within the current global and political context, it has become essential to learn Arabic in order to foster intercultural communication and interfaith understanding." Professor Amir Al-Azraki, Studies in Islam

6. Use the language in a study abroad program

“While I was on my co-op term in East Africa, I was surprised by the prevalence of Arabic during my stay in Zanzibar—being able to identify the alphabet and pronounce words became a useful skill while traveling. I was also fascinated to learn that a number of words in Swahili are of Arabic origin and Swahili is still often scripted using the Arabic writing system. Through my term-abroad experiences in Turkey and East Africa, I realize the benefit of learning the Arabic language.” Imran Visram, current Arabic language student

5. Understand/address complex socio-political, religious, and economic issues within the MENA region

“Arabic allows me to better communicate when I travel in the Middle East, a place that is very important not just in regards to current events but also the rich culture and history it carries.” Zahid, current Arabic language student

4. Intensive classes have been shown to help learners.

judi jewinski“The value of an intensive language course, such as this one, is that you spend your time immersed in language study. You learn faster because you spend so much time practicing. The intensity helps you become proficient in the language more quickly.” Judi Jewinski, Administrative Dean, Renison

3. Get involved with new and old immigrants in the local community

“With Canada welcoming refugees from Syria and other areas of the Middle East, the ability to speak and understand Arabic is vital. Studying Arabic will allow me to be better prepared to help these refugees more easily acclimate to life in Canada.” Robert Fantina, Journalist, The MintPress (currently studying Arabic at Renison)

2. Expand your world by learning the liturgical language of Muslims.

“My aim is to achieve fluency in Arabic to travel to the Middle East and North Africa, to be able to read the Qur'an in its language of origin, and to be able to communicate with people from the other side of the world. How can we understand others without communicating? Language is the first step to understanding.” Julia Moynie, fourth-year Liberal Arts student, with a minor in French, East Asian Studies, Applied Language Studies, and Studies in Islam

1. Get it done fast: complete a full course in only 6 weeks, or 3 courses in 8 weeks!

Because your time is valuable, and this is a unique way to give you more of it.