Student Stories

Meet Emma Cano

Arabic Student Alum

“I recently graduated from Smith College (2021) with a major in Biology and minor in Arabic. At APTLI, I studied intermediate Arabic for 8 weeks in the summer in Madison in 2019. I enjoyed my time in the program because of the community, friendships, atmosphere, and progress I made in my class. Although it was challenging, the amount of conversational language skills I learned was invaluable and more than I would ever have gotten in a strictly college class setting. I had a great instructor who pushed us in class but also saw the value in finding moments to have fun with the language by conducting art classes, garden sessions, and more. The atmosphere of the program and how the staff and other instructors conducted the 8 weeks was awesome. There were always activities on the weekends and other bonding activities with all classes throughout that allowed me to make life-long friends. With the help of this program, I feel more confident in my future plans of studying to become a nurse practitioner at Columbia University and working with Arabic-speaking communities, with a specific focus on refugees.”

Meet Aaron Suiter

Arabic Student Alum

“I’ve participated in APTLI twice: once (in person) in the summer of 2019 to study first year Arabic, and then again (online) in the summer of 2020 to study second year Arabic. I studied MSA through APTLI because I planned to conduct ethnographic dissertation research in Tunisia, and I wanted an intensive program to really kickstart my language journey. I really enjoyed studying Arabic over the summer—I liked being able to focus all my energy on Arabic without the distraction of other courses, I loved my instructors (shout out to Ustaadha George and Ustaadha Mariam), and I appreciated being in class with other highly-motivated students. Currently I’m studying Tunisian colloquial Arabic through the multi-language seminar offered at UW—Madison’s African Cultural Studies department, and the language skills I learned at APTLI have proven to be a great linguistic foundation for my studies. In shaa Allah, next summer I will be studying in Tunisia!”