Middlebury

Middlebury College establishes its first Arabic language school abroad

January 18, 2007

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? Middlebury College has established the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School Abroad in the Middle East, the first of the Middlebury Schools Abroad in this region. Located in Alexandria, Egypt, and affiliated with Alexandria University, the school will begin offering classes in the fall of 2007.

The curriculum is designed for intermediate and advanced Arabic language students, and all coursework for the program will be conducted in Arabic. Students will adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge and be housed with Egyptian students in apartments. Anticipated enrollment is approximately 15-20 students per semester.

Known as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean," Alexandria is Egypt's second largest city and offers an atmosphere rich in cultural and colorful diversity. A popular travel destination for Egyptians, writers and tourists, Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C. and, today, is a bustling metropolis of almost four million people.

"Arabic is the fifth most commonly spoken language in the world, and this newest of the Middlebury Schools Abroad fills a much needed niche in language and cultural studies today," said Middlebury College Dean of International Programs Jeffrey Cason. "At Middlebury and elsewhere, Arabic is in high demand, Middle East studies is expanding, and students are looking for an academically rigorous study abroad program in the region."

The C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in the Middle East is based at Alexandria University, which was founded in 1942 and is Egypt's second largest university.

"In terms of location, Alexandria University was clearly our top choice," said Middlebury College Dean of Language Schools and Schools Abroad Michael Geisler. "With a strong emphasis on research and a rich background in liberal arts, Alexandria University is an excellent facility. And the city itself is as multifaceted as it is rich in history." Alexandria's newly constructed and expansive library, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, is adjacent to the university and provides an exceptional resource for students.

With the addition of the Middlebury College School Abroad in the Middle East, the C.V. Starr-Middlebury Schools Abroad now operate programs in 30 cities and 12 countries, and the original schools were established more than 50 years ago. Students take courses in most disciplines, often alongside host-country undergraduates; intern or engage in volunteer work; and live with a family or local students. At every juncture, students are encouraged to immerse themselves in the host culture.
 
For more detailed information, visit www.middlebury.edu/academics/sa or contact Middlebury College Schools Abroad at schoolsabroad@middlebury.edu  or (802) 443-5745.