Yearly Arabic Programme

Yearly Arabic Programme 2018-2019 (Beirut and Amman)

General Overview

The annual language program is organised by IFPO’s department for Medieval and Modern Arabic Studies (Département des Études Arabes, Médiévales et Modernes de l’Institut français du Proche-Orient) under the responsibility of Sabrina Benchenaf (Associate Professor, Ifpo) and the direction of Frédéric Imbert (Professor of Universities, Director of DEAMM). It offers in-depth language and cultural training to trainees (students or non-students) who have already completed Modern Standard Arabic (MSA/fuṣḥā) with one of the following profiles:

  • Profile 1 = advanced: between 400 and 600 hours of Arabic at least (from 3 years of Arabic and more)
  • Profile 2 = intermediate: between 250 and 400 hours of Arabic (+/- 2 years of Arabic)
  • Profile 3 = post-beginner: between 150 and 250 hours of Arabic (+/- 1 year of Arabic)

Ifpo does not train beginner trainees in Modern Standard Arabic (MSA/fuṣḥā).

Candidates for the annual course must motivate their project to study at Ifpo by a letter of motivation where they will expose their research project or their professional project. The course is also intended for people wishing to prepare for certain competitions that require a good mastery of Arabic (National Education, Foreign Affairs, etc.).

Every year, the Arabic language course welcomes students from all over the world. In 2017, a dozen nationalities were represented, thanks in particular to agreements made with various universities and international institutions: IEP – Institute of Political Studies, Oxford University, Durham University, Edinburgh University, etc. In addition, the Institute welcomes annually 10 French scholarship holders from the Ministry of National Education, to which are added to other trainees enrolled in individual training (Middle East Studies students, NGO, journalists, experts, etc.)

Program’s content

The classes are taught in Arabic by Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian professors who have a solid background in teaching Modern Standard Arabic to foreigners. The teaching’s team for whom Arabic is without exception the mother tongue, is composed of about fifteen teachers in Beirut and a dozen in Amman.

Students are distributed according to their level in small groups (10 to 14 people maximum). Teaching is organized in group courses (12 hours of collective courses per week) and private courses (4 hours per week).

The Arabic course offers several level groups in Arabic (MSA) (currently 3 in Amman and 6 in Beirut), as well as several level groups in Arabic dialect (currently 5 groups in Syrian-Lebanese Arabic in Beirut and 3 Jordanian groups in Amman). It should be noted that it is possible to start dialect classes as a beginner.

Collective courses offered in MSA are: Arabic grammar, written expression and comprehension, oral expression and comprehension, press and media, modern history, history of Arabic-islamic thought, culture and civilization, classical and modern literature. It should be noted that a course is exclusively devoted to presentations and debates of different kinds (contradictory debate, political, citizen or social debates, presentations, interviews, etc.). The objective of this course is to learn in real situations how to construct an oral presentation, to organize a speech, to develop the language practice, to master the expressions and formulas allowing to intervene in a debate or a discussion, to present and to confront its ideas, argue, refute, etc.

Collective courses in Levantine or Jordanian dialect integrate the training offer with the aim of quickly responding to trainees’ needs for daily communication.

For individual courses (tutoring), the trainees formulate before the beginning of the annual course four wishes for courses they will then have, if they wish, the opportunity to change at the entrance of the second and third quarters. The courses offered are: dialect, press and media, social issues, grammar, written expression and comprehension, oral expression and comprehension, modern history, history of Arabic-Islamic thought, culture and civilization, classical literature, modern literature, translation, according to teacher’s availability in this subject (translation from Arabic into French or from Arabic into English).

In order to reinforce language skills from the beginning of the year, language courses (oral, written, grammar) are highly recommended in individual courses in the first term. The results of the written and oral placement tests, carried out at the arrival of the trainees, before the beginning of the internship, allowed to orient the trainees towards courses adapted to his needs.

N.B. French is the administrative language of the program (emails, attachments and various posters); however, knowledge of French, if useful, is not compulsory.

Terms and deadline registration

Applicants for the yearly program must send us as soon as possible their complete application form by email to the following address: . The application must be submitted no later than Friday 15th June 2018 (deadline). This application form must necessarily include :

  • an applicant information form + 1 identity photograph (to download below).
  • a cover letter (one page maximum)
  • an Arabic written test (MSA) (to download below). The test is obligatory.

Three levels of testing are available for download: you must download the one that corresponds to your profile (1, 2 or 3).

Candidate will be chosen on the basis of their test result, but also on their motivation. It is fundamental that the applicant does the test alone and strictly according to the conditions formulated: 3 hours, the dictionary is authorized.  Warning ! If the candidate fails to finish his test in the conditions of time (3h), don’t worry, it has to be sent as it is. In any case, accepted candidates will be tested again on arrival, during the pre-school days: written and oral tests (MSA and dialectal), in order to place them into the correct group based on their knowledge and level of MSA and dialect (dialect groups range from beginners to advanced).

N.B. The number of places available for the yearly course is limited for both Beirut and Amman. We therefore advise you to send your application as soon as possible. If the course if full, the applicants can be placed on a waiting list or could be recommended for the other IFPO course (Beirut or Amman).

  • Incomplete applications will be refused

The registration will only be confirmed after the payment of the deposit (500 €) and will only be effective at the payment of the balance (4 200 €) before the start of the internship (see below)

Program Cost

The registration fee is 4,700 euros for the entire course. Tuition fees must be paid in full no later than September 30th, 2018 as follows:

  • 500 € deposit paid no later than July 1st, 2018
  • 4,200 €  paid before September 30th, 2018

The amount paid will not be refunded after payment or in case of withdrawal, except for medical or professional reasons (duly justified). If the payment of the full registration fees is not made on the dates indicated, Ifpo authorizes itself to cancel your registration

Payments are made according to payment modalities specific to each country (please see the payment terms available for download). Bank transfer remains the simplest and fastest method of payment, the Ifpo bank account in France. You can download the Ifpo RIB (IBAN) below.


The annual offer is scheduled over 27 weeks, split into three terms with a one-week half term in each and two weeks of holidays between each term. The students generally enrol for the entirety of the program. It is possible to enrol for less than 27 weeks, however in practise a place coming available throughout the course of the year is rare and priority is given to students applying for the entirety of the academic year.

For any specific training request (one or two semesters or other courses), you are kindly requested to contact the contact the management team.

Ouverture du stage annuel de langue arabe, Ifpo, Beyrouth, 17 octobre 2011

Scholarships for students

IFPO does not offer scholarships for those whishing to apply for the yearly Arabic program. However, the « Arabist Scholarship Program » run by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research’s (MENESR) offers scholarships to 8 to 10 students each year, based on their application and pays for their course at IFPO. French students interested in this scholarship should consult the Campus France website for more information ( from the beginning of March.

Practical Information

Students are expected to find their own accommodation. Before their arrival, the Institute provides them with up-to-date information on the addresses of apartment and room owners recommended by trainees of previous sessions. Trainees can also access practical information via social networks. We strongly advise to arrive in Beirut or Amman at least one week before the beginning of the training to settle some formalities and to find an accomodation. They must be present at Ifpo at the latest, the week before the start of the course to take the written and oral placement tests.

For all information concerning visas, health conditions and safety and security instructions specific to each country, please consult the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, specifically the page ‘advice for travellers. ( / en / advice-to-travelers / councils-by-country / lebanon / or…). You can also inquire at the embassies of Lebanon and Jordan in the country where you reside.



Head of  for Arabic courses

e-mail :
Tel : + 961- 1- 420 291 /292/293/298

Institut Français du Proche-Orient (Ifpo)

Rue de Damas

BP 11-1424, Beirut, Lebanon