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Jerusalem  | © judithscharnowski/Pixabay
Jerusalem | © judithscharnowski/Pixabay
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The Best Places to Learn Arabic in Israel

Picture of Florence Sinclair
Updated: 8 October 2017
Being the fifth most spoken language in the world and one of the six official UN dialects, Arabic is one of the most useful and sought-after languages in the world. Israel provides a suitable destination for those wishing to get to grips with Arabic, or for travellers looking for an extra something to add to their trip to the Holy Land. For many more Arabic-learning opportunities located in the neighbouring West Bank, look no further than our guide here.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

For those who like a challenge and want fast results, the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University offers a six-week Arabic immersion programme during the summer. With the bustling neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem on your doorstep, as well as the wonders of the Old City close by, the course provides ample opportunities to get practising with the locals. Courses are available at beginner, intermediate and advanced level and fees are 2,360 USD, with scholarships available. Find out more on their website.

Jerusalem Old City Wall
Jerusalem Old City Wall | © israeltourism/Flickr

Damascus Gate Arabic, Jerusalem & Tel Aviv

Damascus Gate prides itself on offering tailor-made and flexible Arabic courses for all levels, in both Modern Standard Arabic and Palestinian dialect. They also offer ‘street’ Arabic courses, guiding students through everyday situations outside of the classroom, as well as courses focused on Arab politics, history and literature. Find out more on their website, or check out their Instagram page here.

Had the pleasure to teach for the 2nd time at EcoMe's intensive language weekend. #jericho #arabic #الاستاذ #عربي #اريحا

A post shared by Arabic lessons in Jerusalem (@damascusgatearabic) on

Mount Carmel Arabic Immersion

Located just south of Haifa, Mount Carmel offers beautiful and tranquil surroundings alongside its intensive immersion programme. Students stay with Arab Druze host families in the nearby villages of Dalyat al-Karmel and Usfiya, providing a truly immersive and authentic experience, as well as an introduction to the Druze way of life. There are also weekly field trips and Arabic-learning excursions scheduled into the programme, which are ideal ways to build well-rounded Arabic skills, relevant to everyday life. Find out more on their website.

University of Haifa

Multicultural Haifa is home to a small Palestinian Arab population, as well as the majority of Israel’s Baha’i community. On top of this, its beachside location and spectacular sights makes Haifa the perfect place to spend the summer learning Arabic. The Universty of Haifa’s four-week intensive Arabic course for beginner and intermediate students includes weekly field trips around northern Israel, lectures and social activities. Courses start at 1,400 USD, with scholarships available. Find out more on their website.

Bahai Temple, Haifa, Israel
Bahai Temple, Haifa, Israel | David Berkowitz, Flickr

Givat Haviva Institute for Peace

Located near Wadi Ara, home to Israel’s largest Arab community, Givat Haviva offers a fantastic opportunity for students to immerse themselves in Arabic language and culture. With a focus on using language for co-existence and shared societies, Givat Haviva offers Modern Standard and spoken Arabic courses, as well as Middle Eastern history courses covering topics such as the Arab-Israeli conflict. Six-week summer spoken Arabic courses are offered, as well as a five-month intensive semester for ambitious students. Frequent field trips around the region as well as homestays make for an exciting and immersive experience. Summer courses start from 4,200 USD including accommodation. Find out more on their website.

Field Seminar ’09
Field Seminar ’09 | © Seeds_of_peace/Flickr