By Amanda Bennett – Contributing Writer
Each year Lasell welcomes new students from all around the globe. The college has a total of 146 international students from 36 countries (32 graduate, 114 undergraduate). Out of those students, 70 students are from Saudi Arabia or Arabic speaking countries (six graduate, 64 undergrad). I think it is ridiculous Lasell does not offer any Arabic language courses or have an Arabic program.
Other colleges and universities such as Boston University and Harvard University offer Arabic courses. This would be a beneficial program to have in our community because it would help bind the gap between international students and local students, plus being fluent in a second language is extremely beneficial today.
A language that is not Spanish or French will truly allow students to stand out to potential employers. I personally have been interested in learning Arabic to communicate with my friends in Egypt and also to be able to communicate with our international students in their language. This passed summer I had the opportunity to live with my friends in Egypt for a few weeks. After leaving I promised them that the next time I see them I will be able speak with them in Arabic.
After talking with many people at Lasell, I do not see any negative consequences to offering an additional language program. Amer Aldousari, an undergraduate international student who’s part of our community shared his opinion with me.
“I believe that learning an additional language is very important these days. I came to the US; was not able to speak any English and now I am fluent. Having knowledge of another language will give students more opportunities. Also, if Lasell offers Arabic classes, students might find it helpful to meet up with an international student who speaks Arabic in efforts to improve. Not only that, but also this could help our community get along better,” he said.
I wish the entire Lasell student body had an opportunity to learn Arabic, allowing them to stand out to potential employers, and lastly bind the gap and bring this community more together.