The Qatar Scholarship Program offers dedicated Arabic language students from the United States the opportunity to master their skills in an intensive Arabic language program at Qatar University (QU) in Doha for an entire academic year (September to June). The scholarship includes tuition, room and board in university dorms, round-trip airfare, local transportation and books.
This program is designed for those who have already developed their Arabic at the intermediate and advanced levels. Students passing a proficiency exam at QU will also have the opportunity to audit regular undergraduate courses taught in Arabic in an array of subjects. This is a non-degree program; however, students will receive a certificate upon completion of the academic year and academic credit will be awarded.
The Department of Arabic for Non-Native Speakers at Qatar University has a number of specialized instructors who have extensive experience teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. Written and spoken Modern Standard Arabic are offered. The curriculum includes: reading, composition, phonetics, Arabic literature in the modern period, the Qur'an, Hadith, schools of poetry, rhetoric, Arabic grammar, semantics and methods of teaching Arabic for non-native speakers.
Qatar Scholarship Program
Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
37th and O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057-1020
All students applying to the Qatar Scholarship Program must meet the following requirements. If you do not meet all of these requirements, your application will not be considered for the scholarship.
- U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- Between 18 and 40 years old
- Recently completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree by the beginning of the program
- Minimum of two years of formal Arabic study and be at the intermediate level of Arabic language study by the beginning of the program
- Demonstrate interest in the Arabic language and continued language study
All application materials must be postmarked by December 15, 2012. Materials postmarked after this date will not be accepted.
The application packet for the 2013-2014 Qatar Scholarship Program is available in PDF format. Please click here to access the packet.
Be sure to read the application instructions carefully and include the following materials in your application.
- Application Form
Transcripts must be official and up-to-date. Please provide transcripts from all academic institutions, language programs and study abroad programs that you have attended.
- Recommendation Forms and/or Letter
One letter must be from a recent Arabic instructor. Both letters should be in sealed, signed envelopes and postmarked no later than December 15, 2012.
- Statement of Purpose (750 words)
Please describe how the Qatar Scholarship Program fulfills your immediate and long-term academic and professional goals.
Please do not include any other materials with your application; they will not be reviewed. Please send the application to the following address:
Qatar Scholarship Program
Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
37th and O Streets, NW
Washington DC 20057
The Selection Process
Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of specialists in the Arabic language and the Middle East.
After the selection committee has completed the review of all eligible applications, all candidates will be notified of their status via email. The top 10-15 candidates will be asked to participate in a brief phone interview with the selection committee. The interview will be conducted primarily in English with the possibility of a brief section in Arabic.
About Qatar University
Qatar University, founded in 1977, is the national university of Qatar. It has the stated vision of "being a model national university in the region, recognized for high-quality education and research and for being a leader of economic and social development."
The university houses seven colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business & Economics, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Law, College of Pharmacy, and the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies. Qatar University offers undergraduate degrees in all seven colleges and graduate degrees in Business Administration, Education and the sciences.
Approximately 8,000 students from nearly 85 countries attend Qatar University. The Arabic for Non-Native Speakers Program (ANNS) exemplifies this diversity by drawing students from across the Islamic world in addition to Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. These students engage in a wide variety of activities while at Qatar University, including sports, cultural exchange, and special festivals and events.
Campus and Housing
Qatar University is a modern campus with high-quality facilities and many amenities. It is divided into adjacent women's and men's sections. Both the men's and women's campuses have their own lecture halls, laboratories, and learning-support facilities. Faculty and staff have access to both campuses, but students are restricted to their respective campuses and classrooms. Arabic language instruction for non-native speakers (both male and female) takes place on the men's section of the campus.
The computer lab is fully equipped, and if you prefer to bring your own laptop it provides a fast Ethernet connection. The University has a health clinic, where all appointments and medications given are free of charge. There is a gym, a library, and a student activities center with the usual American fast food chains, an ATM machine, computer lab, game room, and several lounge areas.
Male students are housed in the university residence hall, located on al-Rayyan road, about 20 minutes from the main campus. This hall houses most of the University's non-Qatari male students. A shuttle bus commutes between the campus and the residence hall regularly. Male students on the scholarship program live in furnished, air-conditioned dormitory-style units. The residence has a dining hall that provides three free meals a day, a gym, TV room, and many game/activity areas.
Female housing is located in a compound, which consists of 20 villas, near campus and Landmark Mall. It is one of the many “compounds” in the city, meaning there is a front gate and a wall surrounding the entire property. The compound has a gym, swimming pool, library and wireless internet access. Female students have access to three meals a day as well as transportation to and from the University. The rooms are furnished and air-conditioned with shared living space and kitchen.
“Qatar put a spell on me; I am totally delighted. You should all see the way Doha looks. I can't see how one couldn't find this place beautiful. The heat is not that bad because the sea breeze cools everything off. There are plenty of palm trees and green, lots of space, superclean dust-free buildings (how do they do that with all the sand??), the sun is b-i-g and it's breathtaking when it comes up or goes down. I love watching the people; the Qatari men in their white dishdashas and the women in their black abayas ... They wear them with so much dignity, I feel respect everywhere.”
“The women’s apartment is chic and spacious and has internet. I am very comfortable.“Of course the most popular activity for Qataris as well as expats is spending time at City Center. City Center is the biggest mall that I have ever seen and has an amazing movie theater, a number of food courts, and an ice rink in addition to all the stores. There is also an all women's section that has another ice rink, four bowling lanes, an arcade, and a fitness center that provides exercise classes for about $2 per hour and an internet lab.”
“Doha has absolutely everything you need and much more in the way of shopping.”
“The social scene at the men’s dorm is thriving. The students there are probably 50 percent Arabs from Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, 20 percent Arabs from the outside the Gulf, and then 30 percent from Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and other parts of the world. With the exception of us three Americans and two Koreans, everyone in the dorm was Muslim. Most people speak some English but Arabic is still the common language. Since there are so many non-Arabs, fusha is widely spoken.”
“At the men’s dorm, life centers around the meals and around the seemingly innumerable sports tournaments: pool, ping-pong, volleyball, five-on-five soccer, and so on. (If you are interested, there are just as many tournaments at the actual university as well.) It’s common for most people to be up late into the night. Almost everyone is very friendly and open and many will immediately want to make friends with you.”
Living in Qatar
The State of Qatar is a small peninsula bordering Saudi Arabia and projecting into the Persian Gulf. With substantial oil and natural gas reserves, Qatar has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and has developed high quality health care and education systems. Like most of Arabia, it is a hot and dry desert land with no surface water and few native plants and animals. Most of Qatar’s 850,000 people live in cities, particularly Doha, the national capital.
Doha lies on the east coast of the peninsula, and displays a mix of modern and traditional Arabic architecture. The Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam is the predominant religion. Most women wear a long black dress, called an abaya, and some wear a face cover, called a niqab, but foreigners are not expected to do so. Loose pants, capris, or jeans are recommended, paired with t-shirts or long-sleeved tops. Shorts and tank tops are not allowed on the University’s campus and not recommended in general.
Only 20 percent of the nation's population is native to Qatar, as a large number of expatriates from India, Pakistan, Iran, North Africa, and various Western nations live and work in the country. Qatar's official language is Arabic, although Urdu and English are widely spoken, especially among the foreign community. It is known for its wide array of international cuisines, and shopping and recreational activities are plentiful.
The desert in Qatar is surprisingly varied. Magnificent sand dunes curve across the country in the south, while to the north, the desert is flat and rocky, with limestone outcrops. Oases and farms that draw on sources of sweet water are found in central and northern areas. The climate is mild and pleasant in winter, hot and sometimes humid in summer. Doha is situated around a bay, so there are many beaches, as well as a sea line "Corniche" which runs along the water.
- Al Shaab
- Al Sharq
- Arabic Program for Non-Native Speakers (at Qatar University)
- Asharq Al-Awsat
- Arab Net - Qatar
- Lonely Planet
- Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Qatar News Agency
- Qatar Globe
- The Gulf Times Newspaper
- University of Qatar
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S.-Qatar Business Council
- World Travel Guide