Historical Overview of the CASA Program

The CASA program was born in 1967 when a group of American Universities partnered with AUC to create an advanced Center For Arabic Studies Abroad at The American University in Cairo.  American students would spend a year in AUC immersed in excellent teaching and cultural immersion. Taught by the distinguished Arabic faculty of AUC, the program grew to become the world’s premier, full-immersion Arabic-language program, its alumni being known for their excellent language preparation, and being sought for many high profile professional and academic and international leadership roles. Today, the CASA curriculum continues to be offered by AUC, independently of the CASA consortium of universities, through its CAASIC program (Center for Arabic Studies in Cairo), offering a full year immersion program (CASA@AUC) as well as two short term programs offered in the fall and summer semesters.  


The programs under CAASIC (CASA@AUC, CAASIC Fall and Summer) offer advanced international students the opportunity to bring their Arabic-language skills to the point of near-native fluency that would help them pursue their post-graduate academic degrees and their research in the region. They prepare them to function effectively in the living-language environment of the Arab world.. We adopt a content-based instruction curriculum that promotes the integration of four language skills. In doing so, students use and interact with different language varieties in their appropriate contexts. The curriculum also provides an opportunity for community engagement, allowing students to immerse themselves in Egyptian society and practice their Arabic in authentic situations. Classes are student-centered and include discussions, essay assignments and interactions outside of class. Faculty members come from the Department of Arabic Language Instruction, with qualifications and solid experience in innovative high-impact advanced language teaching.


Students participating in any of AUC's CAASIC programs must meet stringent language qualifications detailed in the application information. Usually accepted students have completed at least three years of formal instruction in Arabic to be able to meet admission requirements, and are often graduate students actively pursuing academic degrees in disciplines within fields related directly to the Middle East.

Full or partial scholarships are available for the full year CASA@AUC qualified students, pending availability.


Today, the role of The American University in Cairo in building Arabic language and culture expertise among non-native peoples continues to grow. The need has never been greater for international academics, diplomats, journalists and business leaders who have full mastery of the Arabic language and an in-depth understanding of the Arab world. The CAASIC programs at AUC located in Egypt — the heart of the Arab world — make this kind of cultural connection possible.