Study and find schools in Syria

The Syrian Arab Republic, commonly known as Syria, is an Arab country in the Middle East region of Western Asia, with a total geographic area of just over 71,400 square miles.  The sovereign nation is bordered by Israel to the southwest, Jordan to the south, Iraq to the east, Turkey to the north, and Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.  Syria, which gained its independence from colonial France in April of 1946 and from the United Arab Republic in September of 1961, has recently undergone major political and social upheaval, as the government has faced massive protests as part of the Arab Spring.  The country has now been temporarily suspended from the Arab League and the government has faced worldwide criticism for its crackdown on protesters; crackdowns that have led to hundreds of civilian casualties to date. Syria’s capital and largest city is Damascus, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.  It was formerly the government seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt.
According to a July, 2012 estimate, Syria has a population of roughly 22.5 million—a population that is very ethnically homogenous, with Syrian Arabs accounting for approximately 90 percent of the population.  Major ethnic minorities in the country include Kurds, comprising 9 percent of the population, as well as Assyrians, Armenians, Turkmens and Circassians, who together make up the remaining 1 percent.
Arabic is the lone official language of Syria.  It is used for all official purposes in the country, including government administration, commerce, education and media.  It is also the most widely spoken language among the Syrian people—a type of Syrian Arabic that is spoken as a first language by over 90 percent of the population.  Kurdish is also commonly spoken in informal situations in regions where that ethnic group is prevalent.  Islam is the predominant religion in Syria, practiced by approximately 86 percent of the population, and of those, 74 percent are Sunni Muslims, while 12 percent adhere to the Shia branch of the religion, including the Alawite, Twelvers and Ismailis form of Shia Islam.  Another 10 percent of the population practices Christianity, particularly the Antiochian and Armenian Orthodox and Greek Catholic denominations, while 3 percent self identify as Druze.
Education in the Syrian Arab Republic
Education in the Syrian Arab Republic is under the supervision and direction of the national government.  The system is based on the old French system of education, and public schooling is free and compulsory for 9 years, beginning at age 6 and culminating at age 15.  Schools in Syria are divided into four levels:  Basic Education I, Basic Education II, Secondary Education, and higher or university education.
The first level of schooling, Basic Education I, begins at age 6 and spans four years (grades 1-4).  At this level, subjects such as reading and writing education are stressed, along with some basic arithmetic and other elementary subjects.  In the second level, however, known as Basic Education II, the curriculum becomes much broader.  Basic Education II spans five years (grades 5-9) and is the last compulsory stage of education.  Subjects taught at this level include mathematics, Arabic language and literature, foreign language (usually English), natural and physical sciences, cultural and religious studies (Islamic studies), history, geography, music, art and physical education. 
Following the ninth grade, all Syrian students who plan to attend secondary school must take a national exam administered by the government.  Based on the score on this exam, students will be enrolled in either the three-year general secondary school, which features a university preparatory curriculum that is largely academic; or the three-year technical secondary school, where the main focus is technical and vocational education and training.  Those who graduate from the technical track of secondary education will gain certification in a trade that will allow them to pursue employment following graduation, while those graduating from the general secondary school are eligible to enroll at one of the country’s many universities.
Higher education in Syria is provided by 5 state universities and 11 private institutions of higher learning.  Most universities in Syria still follow the old French model of higher education, in which the first stage of education spans 4-6 years depending on the field.  Students who complete this stage are awarded a “license” and are eligible to pursue the 1-2 year DEA or DESS, which is equivalent to a Master’s Degree.  The third and final stage of education in the Syrian university system is the doctoral phase, a 3-5 year program depending on the type of PhD degree being sought.

Language Courses in Syria

Arabic is the official language of Syrian Arab republic. Kurdish is also commonly spoken in Syria, especially by people in the Kurdish regions. In addition, many educated Syrians speak English, Armenian, French and Turkish.
Arabic is the official language in many countries, including Yemen, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Tunisia, Sudan and Iraq. Arabic is the first language for over 200 million people globally. Arabic is the language of the Holy Quran, and it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Learning Arabic is the best way to understand the rich history of Syria.

Benefits of Learning Arabic

Some people perceive that it is very difficult to learn Arabic. However, Arabic has a deep history and words from the language have made their place in astronomy, mathematics, chemistry and mythology. Learning the local language is essential to fully immerse oneself in a particular culture. Those who want to understand the holy Quran in the original version, written in older Arabic benefit greatly from learning the modern Arabic language.  Learning Arabic offers various advantages, from educational opportunities to job placements to career advancement. It also helps the learner achieve an increased cross cultural awareness. Given the growing role of Arab countries in the current political and socio-economic scenario, Arabic speakers are in great demand at consulting firms, news agencies, as well as, marketing departments of companies and universities in many countries. Arabic studies are offered by many schools in Syria. Corporations that have plans to expand their operations into the global arena are eager to have candidates with a background in the Arabic language.

Learn Arabic in Syria

Arabic is a very rich language. Individuals who visit Syria for business or personal purposes can easily study Arabic in the country, as the Syrians are friendly to foreigners and are especially helpful to those that wish to learn their language. Studying Arabic is beneficial for those who want to immerse in the Syrian culture. However, it does take some time to master the language, if it is learnt via conventional methods. Most people in Syria do not speak in English. Hence, the professionals, vacationers and students who come to Syria inevitably pick up at least a basic level of conversational proficiency in Arabic. Spending a few months in Syria is the best way to learn Arabic quickly and easily. In addition, they can get firsthand experience in the Arab culture. Syrians are proud of the Arabic language, and a thorough education in the grammar and other important elements of the language is mandatory. Any language is learnt best by surrounding oneself by native speakers, and learning Arabic in Syria offers that opportunity to those who wish to learn Arabic.

Classes and Courses to Learn Arabic in Syria

Modern standard Arabic courses are offered by institutions in Syria at all levels, including beginners, intermediate and advanced. Depending on the level of Arabic study, learners need to give presentations in the language and write Arabic essays. They are also trained in listening comprehension. The intense curriculum offered by some institutions helps learn Arabic faster.

Private Arabic courses and immersion courses are also available in Syrian Arab Republic, which help students increase their language proficiency.

Online degree, online courses and distance learning schools in Syria

Distance education was restricted in Syria until two decades ago. The Ministry of Education paid attention to only traditional forms of higher education until the late 1990s. Later television programs were used to teach computer applications to the students. The establishment of the electronic university in 2002 has opened up ample opportunities for higher education.

In Syria, online degrees and courses are offered by the Syrian Virtual University. The Ministry of Higher Education in Syrian Arab Republic opened the country’s first electronic university in 2002. The university is completely online. It offers virtual education using the internet to students all over the world. The mission of Syrian Virtual University is to help individuals who want to pursue higher education, but are not able to afford it from a traditional university. The university is located at the Ministry of Higher Education in Damascus.

Open learning centers of universities are also allowed to offer online bachelor’s degree in Syria.

Online Degree Programs and Courses in Syria

The virtual university initiative in Syria offers domestic programs as well as partnership programs. Domestic programs are focused mainly in the field of computer science. Recently programs in the subject of Economics have been added. Domestic programs are taught in Arabic, and a few courses are taught in English.

Partnership programs are offered by the virtual university in partnership with accredited universities in foreign countries. These programs are offered in English only. The online programs under this category range from the associate degree to doctorate programs.

4-year online undergraduate programs in Syria are offered by the virtual university. Bachelor of Science in Information System Engineering is a popular program, in which the content is much similar to that of the traditional computer science program. The students who take this program need to take core courses and specialized courses. Multimedia systems, intelligent system, Software application development and operating systems are the core specialization subjects to be learnt. The duration of this undergraduate program is typically five years.

Bachelor of Arts in Law and Economics is also offered online. These programs last for four years and at the end of the fourth year, students who have fulfilled the course requirement are awarded the degree. Post graduate online degrees spanning two years are also offered by distance learning centers in Syria.

Those who want to take online degrees and courses offered by the virtual university are generally required to attend live online lectures for specified hours. They can download the remaining coursework. They need to submit the course work regularly and take mid tem and final exams.

The students who take post graduation programs online in Syria need to prepare a thesis, which must be their original work.
However, the administration in Syria is still unable to meet the growing needs of students who wish to pursue higher education, due to a significant increase in student enrollment and insufficient resources.  This has increased the need for distance education programs. The open learning centers and online university in Syrian Arab Republic serve this purpose, but more efforts are required. 

Cities to study in Syria

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