Arabic Flagship Program
Arabic Flagship Program

Outreach with the Arabic Flagship Program

Arabic K-12 Programs

The Arabic Flagship Program (AFP) at the University of Texas at Austin works in close communication with several K-12 Arabic programs across Texas. In cooperation with the Qatar Foundation International (QFI), AFP helped establish two high school Arabic programs in the Pflugerville Independent School District (PISD) at Hendrickson High School and Pflugerville High School, near Austin, Texas. These programs offer multiple levels of Arabic courses that combine the use of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) with the Egyptian colloquial dialect. The AFP has also worked closely with Central Junior High's Arabic program in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district, near Ft. Worth, Texas. This program offers Arabic classes from sixth to eighth grade and recently expanded to L.D. Bell High School to offer high school level courses.

Each year, each of these schools participate in a field trip to visit the AFP at UT where these students interact with AFP students and faculty, learn more about the opportunities of pursuing Arabic in college, and engage in a classroom simulation where they experience an Arabic language course at the college level.

The AFP has worked to network with other Arabic high schools in surrounding areas, including Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, to smooth the pathway from learning Arabic at grade school level to pursuing the language at a college university.


Refugee Student Mentor Program

In spring 2015, the UT Department of Middle Eastern Studies (DMES) began a collaboration with the Austin Independent School District (AISD) to provide volunteer opportunities for UT students with foreign language skills to serve as mentors to refugee students in AISD schools. Since its founding, over 50 volunteer UT students have participated, serving at 16 schools in AISD. Each volunteer is assigned to a specific AISD school and serves as a mentor to a small number of refugee students in that school for approximately 2-5 hours per week. The AFP has helped coordinate the program and educate AISD teachers and administrators on issues relating to refugee resettlement.

The program seeks to help refugee children adapt to their new lives in America and acclimate to their roles as students. While many of these schools have “English as a Second Language (ESL)” programs, these programs are not well-suited to teaching students who speak Arabic or other non-European languages. The Refugee Student Mentor Program not only fills a need within the local community, but it allows our students to learn about the cultures and experiences of refugees who are starting their new lives in America.



Volunteers of the Refugee Student Mentoring Program (RSMP) describe their experience working with refugees in Austin-ISD. Many volunteers of RSMP are participants in the Arabic Flagship Program. This program was started in collaboration with the Arabic Flagship Program, Department of Middle Eastern Studies and AISD.