Arabic Studies

Arabic is the fifth most commonly spoken native language in the world, with about 230 million people speaking it as their first language. Arabic studies students at the Asia Institute will learn not only about reading, writing and speaking in Arabic, but also living and interacting in the ‘Arab way’.

Why Arabic Studies?

Arabic is currently the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world, with about 230 million people speaking it as their first language. Australia itself has a sizeable Arabic-speaking community.

The Arab world comprises 22 countries, all members of the Arab League, covering a total area of 13,130,695km2 across the Middle East and North Africa, with a total population estimated around 350 million comprising many different ethnic groups of diverse cultural backgrounds. Arabic is also the liturgical language of Islam studied by many millions of non-Arab Muslims around the world. Due to its advantageous geographical position, rich cultural heritage, abundant natural resources, dynamic economy and rapid development, the Arab world has acquired great economic, political and cultural significance in the world. For these reasons, Arabic is an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the African Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

The peoples of the Arab world have, over their long and eventful history, created a rich and extraordinary artistic, scientific, literary and spiritual heritage; a cultural heritage which has contributed to the development of European art, philosophy and science, and influenced the course of history in Europe and beyond.

Why Arabic Studies at Melbourne?

The Arabic Program of the Asia Institute offers its students an integrated way of studying the Arabic language and aspects of Arab culture, and of learning not only reading, writing and speaking in Arabic but also about living, seeing, acting and interacting in the ‘Arab way’. Along the way, students will gain insight into Arabic literature, Arab history, political geography, religious traditions and practices, current issues, popular culture, culinary traditions, and many other areas. Students can do this by pursuing an Arabic major, or for a Diploma in Languages (Arabic) while completing a degree in another discipline, starting at the level most appropriate to their existing language skills. Students are encouraged to make use of language scholarship-supported study abroad opportunities to further develop their Arabic language proficiency and to gain first-hand experience of Arab culture.

How can I study Arabic Studies?

Undergraduate students can study Arabic through:

Arabic Studies can also be studied through the following:

Arabic can also be a component in an Asian Studies program at either undergraduate or graduate level.

At the graduate level, Arabic Studies offer courses for:

The Asia Institute offers a range of subjects in Arabic Studies. Some examples include:

See the full list of subjects in the Handbook

Where can Arabic Studies take me?

Effective communication skills in Arabic may play an important role in a wide range of professions, and there are many vocations where you can use them to great effect. University graduates with good Arabic language skills, with attendant knowledge of Arab culture and society, may look forward to rewarding career prospects in many government, commercial and non-government organisation settings both in Australia and overseas. These include communications, international relations, cultural relations, community development, international trade, building and construction, engineering, translating and interpreting, travel and tourism, English-language teaching and other areas of education.

Arabic Languages Other Than English (LOTE) accreditation examination

The Institute holds examinations for LOTE accreditation for prospective teachers of Arabic in the first or second week of January and June each year. The examination consists of written and oral components. Further information on how to apply, dates and fees can be found on the LOTE accreditation exams web page.

Language Placement Test

Meet our Arabic Studies staff

Our academics are leading researchers, and dedicated teachers.

Profile picture of Abdul-Samad Abdullah

Dr Abdul-Samad Abdullah

Senior Lecturer In Arabic Studies; Arabic Studies Convenor
Profile picture of Christina Mayer

Dr Christina Mayer

Senior Lecturer In Arabic Studies
Profile picture of Tarek Makhlouf

Dr Tarek Makhlouf

Subject Coordinator in Arabic Studies
Profile picture of Liliane Yarak

Liliane Yarak

Tutor in Arabic Studies