march, 2023









































20feb(feb 20)9:00 am27mar(mar 27)6:00 pmSpring Term 1

Saifi Immersive Arabic Summer Program (SIASP)

Due to current circumstances and the COVID-19 outbreak, the SIASP will be suspended for this year.


SIASP is an immersive language program offered in the summer for students wanting to get as much Arabic language learning as possible in a short amount of time.  It is ideal for those individuals studying in other academic programs during the year.


The program includes six hours of class daily from Monday – Friday, offering students the opportunity to complete TWO levels in either Formal Arabic (MSA) or Levantine (Urban) Arabic. Students can practice their Arabic in daily life, immerse themselves in Middle Eastern culture and learn about Lebanon’s history, food, and society.


The program also includes field trips, special cultural activities, film nights, and lectures on Middle Eastern history and politics. This is an exciting opportunity to see Lebanon, meet fellow Arabic students, and acquire greater proficiency in Arabic. Whether you are a complete beginner and/or a student that has already studied some Arabic, SIASP will help you to improve as quickly as possible.

Course Schedule

Morning Class: 09:00 – 12:00

Lunch: 12:00 – 12:30

Afternoon Class 12:30 – 15:30


Students are also expected to complete between 2 -3 hours of homework on a daily basis.

Cultural Activities and Field Trips

All students registered on SIASP must attend our special summer activities which include:


  • A weekly Lebanese film night
  • Lebanese cooking and food decoration classes
  • Coffee cup readings
  • Guest lectures from experts on Lebanese society, literature, international relations and politics
  • Field trips around Lebanon (walking Beirut, Tripoli and the south)

Urban Arabic

Urban Arabic is a systematic program developed by Saifi Institute to teach the Levantine dialect which is spoken in Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Jordan. It is essential to learn this language if you want to communicate with people in the region or conduct research in the field. Saifi is the only Arabic school in the Middle East offering a step-by-step curriculum in the Levantine dialect that uses the Arabic script.


In this five-week intensive course, students will, at a minimum, reach the intermediate level, covering both the beginner and elementary course materials from Saifi Institute’s dedicated Urban Arabic curriculum.


The summer program places special emphasis on additional practice in conversation, giving presentations, and listening comprehension to ensure that students graduate with a solid foundation and with confidence in their language abilities. This program sets students up to continue their studies of Arabic in the Middle East or anywhere else around the world. Students with NO prior knowledge of Arabic can join this course.

Material covered in this course

  • Urban Arabic Book 1: Beginners’ guide to the Alphabet (Beirut: Saifi Institute, 2014).
  • Urban Arabic Book 2: The complete beginner level (Beirut: Saifi Institute, 2018).
  • Urban Arabic Book 3: The complete elementary level (Beirut: Saifi Institute, 2014).
  • Urban Arabic: Conversation Classes (Beginner & Elementary).
  • Urban Arabic: Lebanese Music & Lyrics (Saifi textbook).
  • Urban Arabic: Dialogues, presentations & listening comprehension.
  • Urban Arabic: Abu Jameel (daily life stories).

Eligible students

  • Anyone who is interested in learning how to speak a regional dialect from scratch.
  • Anyone who wants to understand movies, television, social media and participate in daily life in the Arab world.
  • Anyone who wants to conduct research in a field that requires proficiency in the Arabic language.

Formal Arabic (MSA)

Formal Arabic or Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the written language of all Arabs. It is rarely spoken except in speeches and on some satellite media channels. It is mostly used for researching historical documents, academic articles, and in the media. Using the Al-Kitaab textbook, in just five weeks, students will complete two levels in Formal Arabic.


In addition to studying grammar, students receive a large amount of practice in the receptive skills (listening and reading). In the productive skills (writing and speaking), special emphasis is given to speaking Formal Arabic – specifically conversation and presentations. Translation skills are also emphasized.

Material covered on this course

  • Al-Kitaab Fii Ta’allum Al-Arabiyya: A Textbook for Beginning Arabic: Part One. 2nd Ed. (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2004) & CD.
  • Additional texts for translation.
  • Audio-visual content including: Film clips, songs and simple adverts.

Eligible students

  • Beginners who already know the Arabic alphabet.
  • Students with a little knowledge of Arabic wanting to reach a higher level.
  • Students wishing to fast track their Arabic studies within a short period.

Fees (Prices in USD)

Formal Arabic: $2,000

Urban Arabic $2,000

Due to the unfortunate circumstances that Lebanese banks are facing, we appreciate if you can pay your tuition in USD/ cash.


SIASP fees are strictly accepted via wire transfer/bank transfer.

The fees for this course include:

  • 150 course hours
  • All required books for the course
  • Extra-curricular activities and field trips
  • Free Wi-Fi on the school premises
  • Access to the Saifi library

Places are limited and we advise you to apply as early as possible. Once you have been accepted into the course, pay the course fees as soon as possible to guarantee your place. Final payment of all tuition fees is due 3 weeks before the start of the class.

How to Apply

You will need to gather the following documents and email them to Saifi: siasp@saifiarabic.com:

  1. A completed Application Form
  2. A copy of your information page in your passport
  3. Proof of Medical Insurance during your stay in Lebanon

Email the application with all supporting documents to: siasp@saifiarabic.com



All students successfully completing the course are entitled to a certificate for each level they complete. Certificates of completion indicate the proficiency level, grade, number of hours and date of course completion. Saifi Institute provides information for Urban Arabic on each language level, which corresponds to CEFR, and ACTFL proficiency levels.


We can provide each student with a letter of recommendation, which provides more detail on their performance in class, their grades, and their commitment to learning Arabic during their time with Saifi.

SIASP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an immersive Arabic course?

An immersive Arabic course is a highly intensive course. Five days a week there are 6 hours of class time and 2-3 hours of homework. We do not recommend students take our immersive course unless they are highly committed to receiving a lot of information in a short period of time.

If I sign up for SIASP, will I be able to stop halfway if it’s too much?

You may quit the course any time you like but you will not be eligible for a refund nor a course certificate.

I am not a university student, can I still attend SIASP?

Our summer program is for teenagers and adults. Soon there will be a program for kids in the summer months allowing an entire family to take part in the experience.

Since I am already a student at Saifi, can I still apply for SIASP?

Of course, ahlan wa salan (welcome).

Do I need to know the Arabic alphabet?

It depends which course you choose. The Beginner-Elementary course in Urban Arabic does not require you to have any prior knowledge of Arabic. The Beginner-Elementary course in Formal Arabic does require students to already know how to read and write the Arabic alphabet.

What is the difference between Saifi’s intensive courses and SIASP?

The immersive summer program is designed to fast track your Arabic. You will cover TWO levels in just 5 weeks (as opposed to the usual requirement of 10 weeks). This program is offered just once a year.

Do the fees include the extra-curricular activities and field trips?

Yes those that are in the program.  Students are responsible for paying for the activities that they choose outside of class hours.

Will I need to do an evaluation before being admitted onto the program?

No need for an assessment for both Urban Arabic and Formal Arabic because you are totally beginner. (For Formal Arabic you need to know how to read and write before applying to SIASP).

When do I need to pay in order to ensure my place in the program?

Once you have been accepted onto the course, you must pay the course fees as soon as possible to guarantee your place. Final payment of all tuition fees is due Friday June 12, 2020. If you do not pay by that date, your place may be assigned to someone else.

Are Saifi’s regular classes still running during the summer program?

Urban Arabic courses will run as normal. Formal Arabic classes will not be available during the Summer II term.

How many people will there be in each class?

It is limited to a maximum of 15 participants in each class.

Can I attend the program and work full or part-time?

No, it is not recommended that students work during the SIASP if they want to complete the course successfully.

Do you offer university credit for this course?

Although our courses are based on the American (ACTFL) and European (CEFR) language proficiency criteria, we recommend printing out our course syllabus, and discussing it with the language department at your university.

Will I receive a transcript/accreditation?

No but you will receive a certificate of completion.  Certificates of completion indicate the proficiency level, grade, number of hours, and date of course completion. We can also provide a letter of recommendation giving more details on your performance in class, your grades, and your commitment to learning Arabic while studying at Saifi.

When should I apply for SIASP?

Apply as soon as possible. Program places are limited.

Do you offer accommodation?

No, the program does not offer accommodation. However next door to the school is a hostel offering private or shared rooms. We advise you to book early as the summer months get very crowded. See https://www.saifigardens.com for full information.

Is it hard to find accommodation in Beirut?

This depends upon the time of year. Once you have committed to the program, we advise you to organize accommodation as quickly as possible to avoid the higher summer rates. Look on Airbnb which has a wide selection of private rooms to rent as well as apartments. The Facebook page “Apartments in Beirut” advertises shared apartments and private apartments for rent.

What is the cost of living in Beirut?

Living costs really depend on your lifestyle. Renting a room in a shared apartment is around $400+ per month. Living costs are around $800+ per month depending on where you eat and drink. In general travel costs can be very low if you use shared taxis and buses, food expenses are low if you eat takeaway or cook your own food. However, restaurants and bars do tend to be pricey. Nightclubs are the most expensive.

Will I need a visa?

Many nationalities can obtain a free one-month tourist visa on arrival at Beirut International Airport which is actually valid for 3 months (and does not require renewal). It is essential that you check Lebanon’s visa requirements before traveling to see if any requirements have changed.

Please visit the General Security website for more details.

Why do I need to pay for health insurance?

Lebanon does not currently have a free healthcare system and Saifi Institute cannot be responsible for your health costs while you are in Lebanon. On arrival at the institute you will need to show proof of a health insurance policy that covers you for the entire duration of the program.  Students cannot commence the program without it.

Does Saifi have a health insurance program I can purchase?

No, you will need to organize your health insurance with a provider in your home country. Please remember to bring evidence of your policy with you when you attend the course.