Six Places To Study Arabic in Beirut

If you're an expat in Lebanon or just one of the Lebanese that grew up abroad with little incentive to perfect your Arabic, you may be trying to figure out the best place to hone your language skills in Beirut. Well, look no further because here is a list of the best places to study Arabic in this city.

1. Saifi Institute for Arabic Language
Probably the most well known Arabic school in Beirut, Saifi welcomes a steady stream of expat and linguistic tourists throughout the summer and all year round. If you ever take a class at Saifi you’re bound to meet people working at various embassies, NGOs and a lot of European and American students eager to hone their Arabic abilities.

Cost: $270 for 30 hours/$675 for 75 hours

Saifi Institute for Arabic Language
Pasteur Street, Saifi Urban Gardens
Tel.: +9611560738

2. Academy of Language and Practical Skills (ALPS)
Although Saifi gets all the hype, in my own personal experience, I excelled far more at ALPS. They keep their classes small guaranteeing one-on-one interaction with the teacher while also catering the schedule to fit each student’s individual needs. They also regularly offer a free hour of conversation practice each week available to all students.

Cost: $8 per hour (3-5 students), $12 per hour (2 students),
$20 per hour (tutoring)

Souraty Street
In the Ras Beirut Center Building, 4th Floor
Tel.: +9611755025

3. Berlitz Language Center
It’s a bit pricier and a bit more intense as well. But Berlitz promises effective and proven methods to quickly learn and enhance the communication skills you need to survive in Beirut.

Cost: Varies based on course

Sidani Street
Tel.: +9611751690
Tel.: +9611751689

4. Institut Francais du Proche Orient
The French institute offers an intensive one-month summer course in Arabic in conjunction with the University of Sorbonne in Paris. It costs a bit more than Saifi or ALPS but the quality of instruction is high and the students in your classes will likely be seeking an academic proficiency.

Cost: 1000 euros ($1100)

Institut Français du Liban
Damascus Road
Tel.: +9611420272
Tel.: +9611420200
Tel.: +9611420230

5. Lebanese American University
LAU offers an intensive summer Arabic program catering to expat aspiring academics looking to immerse themselves in serious Arabic study. Colloquial courses are also available based on interest. And of course, academic credit is include.

Cost: Tuition is $2,608

Quraitem Street
Tel.: +9611784408

6. American University of Beirut
And then of course there is AUB, the Harvard of Lebanon. But this program isn’t for everyone. There is an application and acceptance isn’t guaranteed. Of course, the price tag is a bit of a shocker as well. But hey, once you’re done, you’re bound to know where all those silly kasras, fathas and damas belong, if not for the quality of the teachers from the sheer incentive of the chunk of change you’re dropping.

Cost: Tuition is $4,782 (MSA) and $3,188 (Colloquial)

Bliss Street
Tel.: +9611340460
Tel.: +9611350000


Region’s Arabic learners take refuge in Lebanon

The Daily Star

Region’s Arabic learners take refuge in Lebanon
By Livia Murray, sale Joanna Bidar

BEIRUT: Each year droves of students travel to the Middle East armed with dictionaries and determination to learn Arabic. Cairo and Damascus have long been popular hubs of Arabic study, ask attracting foreign students with competitive tuition and low living costs, but this year’s popular uprisings in the Middle East have derailed many well-laid plans.

Studying Arabic in Beirut

Studying Arabic in Beirut

What you need to know before taking the plunge
Ben Kalt

merican: “Lao sa-maHt, ed ay-nuh el mah-tãm Ka-bab-ji?”
Beiruti: “Speak English or French?”
American: “Uh...English.”
Beiruti: “OK, drugs go straight and first will see. Welcome to Lebanon.”
American: “Shou-kran.”
Beiruti: “You’re welcome.”

The Lebanese local grins at his multilingual hospitality as the foreign student walks away grumbling, “I live here dammit, and I speak Arabic!” after yet another failure to pull off even the most basic of interactions in Arabic after months in Beirut studying.

Arabic Goes Urban


Arabic goes urban
Talking to Saifi Urban Gardens founders
Angie Nassar

Eat. Sleep. Learn Arabic. Attend a workshop. Relax at the lounge. For adults dedicated to learning the Arabic language - in its colloquial or classical form - Mac McClenahan and Rana Dirani are already familiar names.

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