New Grant Funds Pre-Collegiate Arabic Jumpstart Scholarships for Summer 2022

April 8, 2022
Arizona Arabic Flagship students

The University of Arizona Arabic Jumpstart Program has received a $63,840 grant from Qatar Foundation International to fund student scholarships for the summer of 2022. QFI is an educational organization based in Washington, DC, committed to advancing Arabic language teaching and learning.

Offered by the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Arizona Arabic Jumpstart is a rigorous and immersive, 10-week summer intensive program for University of Arizona incoming first-year students as well as high school juniors and seniors who wish to reach higher levels of Arabic in preparation for joining rigorous university programs.

  • With this new grant, combined with UArizona funding and Arabic Flagship grant funding, the 2022 summer program tuition/fees will be fully funded.
  • Students will also receive a stipend for housing, books, meals, and travel if they are graduating high school seniors joining the University of Arizona as first-year students in fall 2022 and have been accepted into the Arizona Arabic Flagship program.
  • Rising high school juniors and seniors receive a large tuition reduction and may apply for scholarships to cover the remaining tuition cost of about $600/session and a stipend for living expenses.
  • Jumpstart students who join the Arabic Flagship Program will also receive scholarship support to take Arabic during the fall and spring semesters of 2022-2023.
  • Applications are due by May 3, 2022.

"Giving students such a strong head start in Arabic prior to reaching college can make joining and staying in a Flagship program more feasible," said Sonia Shiri, grant PI, director of the Arizona Arabic Flagship Program, and associate professor in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies. "These grants help level the field for students from all backgrounds and pave the way for motivated and ambitious students to become proficient in a critical language while pursuing one or more majors."

Arabic Jumpstart students can earn up to 10 college credits and complete first, second, or third-year Arabic in one summer. An Arabic dialect is taught alongside Modern Standard Arabic in each class. A college mentor-Arabic tutor is assigned to work with the students in small groups and individually throughout the summer.

The Jumpstart program also includes various interactive cultural activities that foster a better understanding of Arab culture and connect students to the vibrant Arab community in Tucson. 

Many Jumpstart students fulfill their college language requirement from participating in the program and may go on to complete an Arabic major or minor in addition to their other major(s). Some Jumpstart students do the program more than once and become more competitive for Study Abroad Program scholarships. By the time they join the university, their Arabic proficiency places them alongside graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

The University of Arizona is one of only six institutions in the country hosting an Arabic Flagship Program, which is funded by the National Security Education Program and helps undergraduate students from diverse majors reach professional-level fluency in Arabic by graduation, with a 12-month study abroad in Morocco. Students in the W.A. Franke Honors College may now earn Honors credit for taking Arabic classes.

“Our Flagship Program graduates find that their experience at the University of Arizona and in the Study Abroad Program prepares them for a variety of careers. Their advanced Arabic and in-depth global experience sets them apart at the national level and makes them desirable job and graduate school applicants,” Shiri said.