Hi everyone - I'd be really grateful for any honest perspectives on this from people who've studied Arabic at SOAS.
I've just been offered an unexpected opportunity to join a new course, (it's quite a last minute thing they've put together) - an MA in History and Arabic. The Arabic modules will be intensive, and it sounds like we'll be bolted on to the undergraduate intensive Arabic modules. We would take two of these in the first year, along with two history modules, one Arabic module over the summer, and another in the final year along with the last three history modules.
I'm trying to get a better idea of what the workload and learning experience would be like. I've heard dire things about 30% drop-out rates and crazy workloads. I'm wondering specifically:
1. Are there about 15 hours of classroom teaching for the Arabic units per week?
2. How much independent study do most do/are you expected to do on top of that?
3. Are these just term-time hours? How heavy is the Arabic workload during the vacations?
4. If anyone studied Arabic with another subject, how was that experience? Was it quite difficult to manage the two?
5. I've heard that the course was quite dry and heavily focused on grammar rather than oral fluency - was the teaching engaging, or was it a struggle to stay awake?
6. What was your level of Arabic after four of these intensive modules? How good were you, and has it helped at all with job prospects?
Many thanks for any information!
... and the ones that won't