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Yelda M., one of Studio Arabiya's Winter Intensive 2012 program students lives in San Francisco, CA and is a student at San Francisco State University. Here is her experience with the Winter Intensive program.
1) Is this the first time you joined Studio Arabiya?
Yes, this is actually the first time I heard about it and the first time I’m joining.
2) How long was your winter intensive course?
I believe it was about a month – 2 hours a day, 10 hours a week.
3) What classes did you sign up for?
I did the Arabic course.
4) Who was your teacher?
5) What did you like most about your teacher?
She was very patient, very friendly, kind, very caring and concerned - I mean there was just so much about her I can’t really just say it in one word.
6) How was your experience with our winter intensive? Did you find it challenging?
Yes, it was challenging but worth it. The challenging part I think had a lot to do with it being in winter break and kind of being stuck in the winter break- zone. Also the timing that I picked was around the middle of the night from 1:30AM-3:30AM and that time was really hard but my teacher made it easy for me so I was able to wake up and get into it.
7) Did you have your skeptics about it being online?
Ya I was like, “Ah...no, I don’t know if I’ll like this AND it’s online!” but Alhamdulillah it was as if I was there even though I wasn't. I had my doubts, but after the first or second day I was like “oh, wow this is actually pretty cool.” There were times where I didn't want to get up for class but I knew my teacher was waiting for me and I knew she was calling me so I would get up.
8) Have you taken Arabic classes before in the past? If so, how was this different or similar to them?
Yes, I did take an Arabic class in the past before but this is different because I get that one on one time instead of having to share my teacher with other people who might have gaps in something I don’t or I have gaps in something they don’t. It’s very hard to learn in an environment where you’re constantly having to keep up with somebody or having to wait. So having that one on one with a teacher who is also from an Arabic speaking country and understands that learning a new language isn’t easy is really great.
9) Now that the winter intensive has come to an end are you planning on continuing with Studio Arabiya’s regular programs?
Yes, I am InshaAllah and hopefully with the same teacher.
10) Would you recommend this program (winter intensive) to any of your friends?
Yes I would, but I would let them know that the winter intensive is intense and you have to be on-top of your work.
11) If there is anything else you want to add or say to our students at StudioArabiya or new comers wanting to join too?
Have fun with it, it’s definitely a fun process of learning Arabic and especially being Muslim, I think it really brings you closer to Allah and the Quran. It’s just so deep, because it’s not even just learning Arabic to have a conversation with someone or to travel, but it’s much deeper than that. It’s the root of Islam. Again it’s one on one, have fun with it and it will really bring you closer to your deen, without even knowing it. It brought me closer to my deen, it brought me closer to praying five times a day, it was good and I really liked it. And you’ll also develop a really good relationship with your teacher because they are super nice people!