CASA I is an intensive Arabic language and culture program. Whether you are in Amman or Meknes, the program follows a similar curriculum. The program is 9 months and is comprised of a fall and spring semester (with Orientation in late August and final classes in May).

To learn more about our Amman Program from former CASA Fellows and faculty at the Qasid Institute, please watch the following video:

CASA I Curriculum

The CASA fall semester is devoted to the overall development of all language skills. The curriculum consists of a fixed set of courses that each Fellow must take; no tutorials or elective courses are offered. Fellows are expected to spend 5-6 hours every weekday working on homework assignments and about 10-12 hours on the weekend. The fall curriculum provides 21 hours per week distributed among the following courses:

  • Colloquial Arabic (5 hours per week)
  • MSA: Issues in Contemporary Arab Culture (Reading and Vocabulary Building, 6 hours per week)
  • Advanced Arabic Media (Listening and Speaking, 6 hours per week)
  • Writing Workshop (4 hours per week)
  • Guest Lecture (1 hour)

CASA offers a lecture series that constitutes an integral part of the academic program in general and the Listening Comprehension course in particular. The lectures deal with a variety of topics and are presented by leading academics and intellectuals. The lecture series is intended to supplement the themes of the reading course and to provide further listening practice.

In addition to core courses, Fellows will have the opportunity to choose two electives that match their interests. 

Each Fellow is required to take four (4) courses, approximately 20 contact hours per week. These courses include:

  • Colloquial Arabic (3 hours per week)
  • Modern Standard Arabic (14 hours per week)
  • CASAwiyyuun Bila Huduud (CASA without Borders), community-based learning projects or internships (3 hours per week)
  • Guest Lecture (1 hour per week)

Many Fellows choose to combine both content courses with language and non-language courses. In consultation with the CASA Executive Director in Meknes / Amman, Fellows choose from a list of courses that have been previously offered or may customize a course and seek a faculty member for the field of study. Note: Financial restrictions prevent CASA from offering individual tutorials. Any spring course offered must have a minimum enrollment of five fellows.

Examples of past spring course options include:

  • Levantine or Egyptian Cinema                                                                                            
  • Literary Criticism
  • Modern Arabic Literature
  • Public Speaking
  • Advanced II Colloquial Arabic                                                                                 
  • Arabic Linguistics
  • Translation
  • Creative Writing
  • Classical Theories of Arabic
  • Islamic Studies
  • Civil War and Tribal Systems
  • History of Egypt                                                                                           
  • Qu’ran & Tafsir

CASA Without Borders (CASAwiyyuun Bila Huduud) community-based learning projects or internships offer fellows the opportunity to pursue long term projects outside of the classroom setting, and help immerse them in the local culture and society. Each Fellow is paired with a volunteer or training opportunity at a local NGO, national initiative, or governmental institution relating to their interests. The Fellows’ progress is assessed through a weekly report and monthly meetings with a language instructor.

Program Eligibility

CASA I applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals or permanent residents and have a minimum of 3 years of formal instruction in Arabic prior to joining CASA.  Non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents are welcome to apply to CASA, and if accepted, may participate on a Pay-Your-Own-Way (PYOW) basis only.

The CASA I program is designed for graduate and undergraduates students who are planning careers that require advanced Arabic proficiency in fields such as academia, government, the professions or international development.  Applicants must fall into one of the following categories:

  • current graduate students (e.g., Ph.D. or M.A. student);
  • undergraduate students in their junior or senior year; or
  • holders of either a bachelor's or master's degree.

The program provides intensive language, culture, and specialized area studies training, with 15 to 20 hours of classroom instruction per week plus homework. A series of lectures, weekly meetings with language partners, and internships/volunteering are an integral part of the CASA program. Efforts are made to provide opportunities for CASA Fellows to interact with their Moroccan or Jordanian counterparts and experience life in an Arabic-speaking country to the fullest extent.

We encourage you to visit our Experiences Abroad page to learn more about the CASA I program.

What Does the Fellowship Include?

  • Roundtrip airfare to Meknes or Amman. Travel is restricted to CASA program dates.
  • Paid tuition for all courses.
  • A monthly stipend to help meet living expenses.**
  • Some program-related tours and subsidized trips to historical sites.

The CASA program will handle travel reservations and issue tickets to fellows to and from the program. CASA Fellows are responsible for arranging and paying for their housing, meals, and travel over breaks. (Stipends are intended to cover basic living expenses, but may not be enough to cover travel back home over holidays/breaks.)

What is the Fellow Expected to Cover?

  • A non-refundable Program Fee
  • International Insurance
  • Miscellaneous fees and expenses during travel (i.e. visas, travel over holidays, living expenses not covered by the monthly stipend)

Further details are shared once fellows are accepted into the program. We also connect incoming students with a designated Fellow from the previous cohort for advice on finding housing and other basics of living in Meknes or Amman.

*Only applicants enrolled in a CASA Consortium School, at the time of application, are eligible for the Consortium rate.

**Figures above are based on the current year, but can possibly change. They are provided only as a guideline; updated information for the coming year will be shared with those who are selected.