The Department of Arabic Language Instruction (ALI) is one of the oldest language and culture hubs in the Middle East. Housed in The American University in Cairo, a century-old, private, accredited institution of higher education, among the premier foreign institutions in the Middle East, it welcomes students from all over the world seeking knowledge of Arabic at all levels. Established in 1921, the ALI has continued its legacy of excellence, serving students through its various resources and its world class faculty who apply the best content-based and learner-centered approaches designed to empower learners with transferable 21st-century skills.

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Nile River and Cairo Tower in the background.

Unique Location

Discover one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Situated in Cairo, the heart of the Middle East and the second-largest city in Africa, AUC gives you an opportunity to engage in a complete language and cultural immersion experience.


AUC International students

A Flagship Program in MENA/West

Our immersive programs continuously provide learners with the most comprehensive and diversified Arabic language instruction, accommodating students at all levels of language proficiency and with different needs and goals. Programs include a wide variety of transferable credit, and non-credit courses that suit degree and non-degree programs.

Students walking around AUC campus

Scholarship Opportunities

AUC offers partial scholarship opportunities to study abroad students who are currently enrolled at institutions in the United States and visiting AUC as non-degree students. Check the link below for more details about eligibility, application instructions, and deadlines.

A group of international students

Enriching Cultural Dimension

Experience and practice your Egyptian Arabic spoken in a context beyond the classroom walls. All our programs include free tours and largely subsidized trips that complement the coursework, along with giving you a flavor of Egyptian culture, society, and history.

Margaret Litvin

Distinguished Alumni

More than 5,400 international students studied Arabic at AUC and pursued their study of Arabic at various levels. Many of our alumni have become highly accomplished professionals and diplomats all over the world.

Dr. Iman Soliman

Highly Qualified Instructors

Led by Dr. Iman Soliman, the chair of the Department of Arabic Language Instruction, the ALI faculty are a group of talented and passionate instructors, with decades of Arabic teaching experience at all levels.



AUC’s world-renowned program teaches courses in Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Colloquial Arabic at the elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Intensive Arabic for Professionals and Non-Degree Seeking Learners

Arabic Language Intensive Program (ALIN)
An immersive full semester program for non-native Arabic speakers from different professional backgrounds and with various career aspirations.

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Summer@AUC students on a nile ride.

Intensive Arabic for Diplomats

Arabic Language Intensive Program for Professionals and Diplomats (ALID)
A full semester intensive program for serious learners, who want to gain an excellent command of Arabic language to pursue and prepare for their diplomatic and political career.

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Photo: World Economic Forum ( via Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Intensive Arabic for Summer Learners

Arabic Intensive Summer Program (ALIS)
An intensive summer program offering tailored courses for learners who wish to gain a broad knowledge and command of contemporary Arabic as quickly and as effectively as possible.

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AUC international students at the pyramids

Arabic for Advanced Learners (U.S. Nationals)

Center for Arabic Study Abroad (CASA)

The world’s premier, full-immersion year-long Arabic-language program, established since 1967, that gives advanced U.S. students the opportunity to bring their skills to the point of near-native fluency.

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AUC international students at the pyramids

Arabic for Degree-Seeking, Non-degree and Study-Abroad Students

Arabic Language Classes (ALNG)
Regular Arabic language courses for a minimum of three credits a course to degree and non-degree students, catering for undergraduates and graduates who need to fulfill their Arabic requirements.

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AUC international students on campus



Located in a country most well-known for its ancient civilization and culture, and a home for one of the world’s great wonders of the world, the Pyramids, Egypt provides an excellent opportunity for a cultural and historic immersion experience. 

Led by professional guides, you will visit major Pharaonic, Christian and Islamic monuments inside and outside of Cairo, as well as go on excursions to local archaeological sites and museums. Our programs also include extracurricular cultural activities including calligraphy, music, Quranic studies, community engagement and more.

Hear from our Arabic Students about their experience at AUC

lara keogh, auc international student, at the pyramid

I moved to Cairo from Australia to complete the Arabic Language Intensive Program for Diplomats which was undoubtedly one of the best decisions of my life! I received incredible academic and personal support from my teachers. The quality of teaching was amazing and the events and trips introduced us to Egypt and allowed us to feel at home instantly. Nothing can compare to the cultural and linguistic immersion that you achieve by living in an Arabic- speaking country. 

Lara Keogh
ALIN/ALID 2019-2020
nisha-dayal, auc international student

One of the unique differences that I experienced is that the program offered me the opportunity to connect with the students of other programs of Arabic language learning allowing me to expand my network and also learn from the professors in person.  

Nisha Prabhu Dayal
ALIN, 2018

The Egyptian Culture on Film course really helped me develop my Arabic skills specially writing.  In general the course is really informative, but in a very interesting way which is watching movies and reflecting on them. This is one of my favorite courses ever at AUC.

Sherif Elsamra
ALNG, 2020


Faculty Spotlight

Iman Soliman

Iman Soliman (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is chair of the Department of Arabic Language Instruction and a senior Arabic-language instructor. She has taught Arabic language and culture at Middlebury College in the United States, University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom and International House Cairo in Egypt. She has also led teacher-training workshops for Arabic first-language teachers in Qatar. At AUC, she teaches both Egyptian Colloquial and Modern Standard Arabic language and culture.

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Dr. Iman Soliman



Arabic Studies

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Study in the Heart of the Middle East and North Africa

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To ensure a smooth transition to Egypt, AUC provides a safe and welcoming campus that becomes your home away from home.

New Cairo Campus

Designed to accommodate 5,500 full-time students and 1,500 faculty and staff, AUC’s $400 million, 260-acre campus is technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive. Check out our campus interactive map here.

residence drone

Student Residences

Living on-campus or near campus is a convenient and elevating experience for students. We, at the University Residences, provide living options that will serve as your home during your academic journey.

Two AUC security personnel performing a security check.

Safety and Security

At AUC, we recognize that a university campus serves as the center of a student’s academic and cultural experience, and our Office of Safety and Security is committed to providing a safe, secure and welcoming campus environment for our global community of students from more than 50 countries.

Contact Information

Iman Soliman

Chair of the Department of Arabic Language Instruction

t: +20.2.2615.2171

Sylvia Maher

Executive Assistant to Chair

t: +20.2.2615.1725

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