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Arabic Language and Interdisciplinary Learning Program (Sijal Institute)

February 26, 2024

Students who are interested in beginning or deepening their study of the Arabic language and culture, linking it with their interest in Middle Eastern Archaeology, and/or embedding their language study within an externship, should read on and consider applying for the program.

Further information about the 2024 Summer program is available at:

For scholarship opportunities and more updates on Sijal's externship option, please check back shortly. 

Opportunities for Summer 2024 include:

  • Session I: five weeks of intensive Arabic language learning (beginner through advanced), alongside a content course on a topic related to Jordan/the Middle East (online only).
  • Session II: a second five weeks of intensive Arabic language learning (beginner through advanced) and a content course on a topic related to Jordan/the Middle East (online only).
  • Remote Externship: five weeks working with a local organization based in Jordan accompanied by continued Arabic language learning (students with prior knowledge of Arabic can choose to complete the externship during either Session; students without prior Arabic knowledge are required to complete the Session I academic program prior to the Externship)

You may find more information on the program below. Please contact Professor Alice Lesnick in the Global Bryn Mawr Office ( for more information.

Application Checklist and Dates

The applications will open at the beginning of February 2024.

Students from Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College wishing to apply to the program should follow the checklist below. The first link is the application through Sijal, which must be completed for acceptance into the program. The second link is intended for students who wish to apply for funding for the program through Global Bryn Mawr. Both of these applications are intended for Bryn Mawr and Haverford students. The third and fourth links are to apply for funding for the remote externships and are college specific. We advise that you write your personal statement in a separate word document because it might be useful for multiple applications (i.e., to Sijal and for Global Bryn Mawr funding).

About Sijal

Sijal is an institute of Arabic language and culture founded by scholars of Arab culture, history, and society. They offer intensive instruction at all levels for students seeking to learn Arabic in Jordan. The Institute also acts as a hub of intellectual and cultural events, bringing together scholars, artists, and specialists across a broad range of expertise and disciplines, for seminars, workshops and special programs. The Institute is housed in a historic villa and gardens lying in the heart of the Rainbow Street cultural district of Amman. From this inspiring setting, they host students of the Arabic language, post-graduates working on the Middle East, researchers, artists, and the local intellectual community in Jordan and Palestine. Surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in Amman, the students learn ‘Arabic in context’, benefiting from first-rate language instruction in line with the latest pedagogy, as well as cultural and historical literacy. Immersion is reinforced by the location in a pedestrian neighborhood packed with local galleries, restaurants, and cafés, and with residents of all ages and walks of life. Courses and special programs are enriched by a full calendar of events that take place at the Institute, providing students with the unique opportunity to interact with creative figures from the Arab world and beyond.

Please note that for 2024, courses offered to Bryn Mawr and Haverford students through the Sijal Institute will be online only. 

About the Partnership

Since 2018 the Bi-Co Arabic Program and Global Bryn Mawr have been collaborating with Sijal Institute in Amman on the development of this program. Each year the model has evolved as the partnership has grown from a focus on language learning and cultural immersion to include a broader conception of Middle East Studies with an enhanced internship opportunity and a content course taught by Bryn Mawr faculty.

Dates for Summer 2024

  • Summer Session I: June 2 - July 11, 2024
  • Summer Session II: July 14 - August 15, 2024
  • Remote Externship: Dates to be announced
  • NOTE: Eid Al-Adha Holiday Break will be during Session I: June 16 - 20

Courses Offered Summer 2024

Arabic Language: All levels beginner through advanced. This is a required course you must take while at Sijal, which will be taught by Sijal faculty. 

Content Course: Cooking around the Arab World, The History of Arabic Music, The Archaeology of Jordan and the Middle East, or An Introduction to Arabic Calligraphy, taught by Sijal Faculty. 

By successfully completing the first session of the program you will earn one academic credit that counts towards graduation. Participation in both Sessions will result in two academic credits that count towards graduation. Please note that the summer program will not take the place of the college language requirement. Rather, studying the language for a semester or two would allow you to test into a higher level of Arabic.

Remote Externship

Students can opt to choose a supervised Remote Externship. If interested, Sijal will give students a wide array of internship options and students will rank their top three choices. Sijal will then coordinate with the organizations and place students at one of their desired locations. Host organizations will be paid a stipend to ensure both accountability and equitable compensation for their work in supervising. Sijal will offer an orientation session to help guide students in navigating their work environment and a mid-semester reflection session to discuss students’ experiences while still at their work sites. Students who choose to do an internship, will also receive four hours weekly of private classes through Sijal, tailored to their level and their learning goals. Private classes are flexible, allowing students to work at their chosen organization alongside their Arabic studies and will help students better engage at their workplace, as they can tailor their classes to fit the needs that arise as they work with organizations based in Jordan. This option allows graduate students to work towards both their professional and academic goals. In the past students have externed with the American Center for Oriental Research (ACOR). Rainbow Street, and ECO Peace Middle East. Funding for the externship will include cost paid to the organization, private tutoring in Arabic, and living expenses for the student.

Program Costs

  • Five weeks of online learning: $1,800
  • Ten weeks of online learning: $3,420
  • Five week remote externship: $1,300
  • Ten week remote externship: $1,970

To confirm their place in the program, students will be asked to pay a non-refundable deposit of $300 to Sijal. Students who discontinue their studies within the first week of enrollment are responsible for 50% of tuition and fees. Students who discontinue their enrollment after the first week are responsible for 100% of tuition and fees.

Tentative Class Schedule

Online classes will take place in the evenings Amman time (5-10pm), which is in the mornings in the US and the afternoon/early evening in Europe. 



Externship Application (through the Center): To be announced

Application to Sijal: May 20, 2024

Global Bryn Mawr Funding Application: Rolling

Confirmation of program attendance and enrollment deposit due: May 27, 2024

First Session orientation and tuition due: June 1, 2024

Last day to withdrawal for a partial refund: June 11, 2024