Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies

Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies

August 31, 2019 4 By Stanley Isaacs


Arabic is a very beautiful language and a
very interesting language to study and very rewarding in its own right. In
addition to that it is a language which is spoken by more than 250 million
people in the world and is a United Nations language so in that respect it
has a very very large value to us as learners.
Well we’re called the Institute of Arab in Islamic studies but actually we do a
lot more than that. Because we’re a multidisciplinary department we have
people doing different academic disciplines and that means that we have
historians, anthropologists, religious studies specialists and many others.
It also means that all of our academics are research active, as we call it, this
means that they’re writing books and articles on their special subjects all
the time. I find what’s really helped my studies at the Institute in particular,
is the wide variety of academics and scholars employed. I feel that the Middle
East can be quite a polarizing issue, a lot of people have different perceptions
about it it’s quite important that you make up your own mind. In studying
Arabic I think, I found it actually fantastic to have such a wide variety of
scholars and academics here at the university and it’s made me love Arabic.
I’m really enjoying studying here in this sort of tight-knit community where
there’s not actually many students in reality, so it means that
we’ve all made good friendships and that entails a fantastic atmosphere while we’re learning. On top of this I think the
constant feedback and the high number of contact hours we have is really
important because, it means that we’re completely evolving and constantly
learning more. So I think that’s incredibly important, so far I’m
really enjoying what we’re doing here. I think that my undergraduate studies
really shaped the way that my career has gone since like, following on
into academia. I think one of the ways in which that happened was that
the, standard of Arabic that I left with was so high that I really felt
comfortable with going on to research in Arab communities. The other way is
that optional modules available to me
surrounding history of the Middle East culture, politics and gender studies
which is event eventually what I chose to study, were really eye-opening for
me and learning more about where my career could take me. I came here
on the Open Day, I absolutely loved it. I think the Institute is fantastic.
It’s got exhibitions that are on all the time to do with the Middle East.
They have lots of visiting speakers which really enhance your experience and
sort of understanding of the culture and history and the politics out
there in the Middle East, when you can sometimes feel quite far here in Exeter. Given the opportunity to travel there on a year abroad, it really
gives you the connection to the countries that you’re studying. I
can say without hesitation the Institute is the best place to do Arabic, Islamic
and Middle East Studies in Europe. There’s no doubt about the quality of
the people that are teaching here. Especially since they are the leading
figures in the public sphere. They’re the ones who you watch on TV.
They’re the ones who you see on BBC, on Al Jazeera, on the range of different
platforms. I feel I’ve benefited massively from studying here at IAIS in Exeter.
We’ve had the most incredible time. The teaching is fantastic you’ve got amazing,
amazing lecturers, they all are very specialized in their subjects. I
100% recommend it to anyone who want too, it’s just incredible and everyone
is so nice.