While the program’s Middle Eastern studies courses help students understand the region more meaningfully, its language programs prepare them to work with its people.
I completed a Bachelor of Middle Eastern & Central Asian studies with the Centre in 2018. When I started, I had initially looked at Middle Eastern as a complement to a future career, but not a central concern. But after several years spent with the Centre and under the supervision of its passionate and motivated scholars, those areas eventually became my central focus.
Studying the Middle East and Central Asia has been a transformative experience. It allowed me to understand the influence of history and culture upon regional events, but also to understand where that influence is less important than the regular lived experiences and dynamics of the Middle East. Reading the news and some books may help someone see the Middle East as a region defined by passing national security issues. But the Centre’s Middle Eastern studies program helps students appreciate that the region matters in itself.
The language program is invaluable, too. It helps students to develop a strong facility for reading and writing Arabic. But the program also gives students a foundation in Modern Standard Arabic, preparing them to engage with Arabic-language media, and giving them the linguistic foundation needed to engage with one of Arabic’s many dialects. While the program’s Middle Eastern studies courses help students understand the region more meaningfully, its language programs prepare them to work with its people.
Bachelor of Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies