CASA I

The CASA I program is a 9-month intensive Arabic language and culture program that is comprised of a fall and spring semester. Whether you are in Cairo or Amman, the program follows the same format. 



FALL SEMESTER (approximately 14 weeks)
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 18-21 contact hours per week distributed among the following courses:

  • Colloquial Arabic (6 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 (3 hours per week)

The Fall-Spring Lecture Series
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.

The Cultural Program
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.


SPRING SEMESTER (approximately 14 weeks)
In the spring semester, Fellows have the chance to tailor the program to their own academic and professional needs and to fully utilize the advanced language skills they have developed during the fall, in working with Arabic materials in their own fields of specialization.

Each Fellow is required to take four (4) courses, approximately 12 contact hours per week. These courses include:

  • Three (3) elective courses
  • CASAwiyyuun Bila Huduud (CASA without Borders), community-based learning projects or internships, which continue from the fall semester

Many Fellows choose to combine both content courses with language and non-language courses. In consultation with the CASA Executive Director in Cairo / 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