BYU’s Arabic Flagship is a government-funded program that prepares students to use Arabic in their professional careers, including business and government. Begun in 2018, the program has had a significant impact on undergraduates in the Arabic language program. With its rigorous coursework and opportunities for funded study in Morocco, the student-focused Arabic Flagship differs from a previous federal grant, the National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC), which was focused on research, teacher training, and testing and material development for K–16 language programs across the nation.
Most students prepare for the yearlong capstone in Morocco by taking four semesters of Arabic and participating in BYU’s study abroad at the Qasid Arabic Institute in Jordan. Their time in Morocco includes volunteering opportunities and cultural activities.
Kirk Belnap, Arabic Flagship director, shared the new program’s impact on students. “The great thing about the flagship is what it can do for students. An undergraduate can now get a good feel for the breadth and variety of Arab culture and reach professional levels.” Belnap is a professor of Asian and Near Eastern languages and served as NMELRC director.
Hannah Miller, a student in the flagship program, is a tutor in the program. “The Arabic Flagship office offers resources and help for students of all language levels. We have both native Arab-language tutors as well as advanced Arabic-language students working as tutors to help other students get the most out of their Arabic learning experience.” Miller will participate in the Morocco capstone this year.
Interested undergraduate students are encouraged to learn more about the Arabic Flagship and how to apply at https://arabicflagship.byu.edu as a fulfilling path toward a promising career.
—Erica Bassett, 8 July 2020