Three students from Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) have been awarded the Undergraduate Language Grants from Northwestern’s Office of Undergraduate Research. The grants will provide the students funding to study a language intensively over the summer.

Students Maram Al Qershi, Huda Barkat, and Yow-Ru Chen, who competed for grants at the Evanston campus will be studying Spanish, Italian and Arabic, respectively.

NU-Q Dean and CEO Everette E Dennis said the school encouraged students to broaden their perspectives beyond a specific country’s borders, and these grants encourage them to take an important step in that direction.

This language learning experience will allow them to expand their knowledge of foreign cultures and provide them with an opportunity to advance their academic experiences through research.’

The programme allows students to identify a summer language programme that best fits their goals, with the grant helping to defray the costs – each student will receive $5,000. However, the students should be studying the language to achieve a specific academic or professional goal.

Huda Barakat, who will be studying Italian at the Italiadea Institute in Rome, plans to take her interest in Italian culture and media to the next level.

I’ve always been interested in learning more about Italy, and I hope this experience allows me to develop my interests in academic projects. During my stay, I plan to conduct a research study on Italian media platforms.’

Another grantee, Yow-Ru Chen, will be enrolling in a language learning institute in Lebanon for six-weeks to learn Arabic, and to enrich his knowledge of Arabian heritage and culture. Maram Al Qershi, meanwhile, will spend her summer in Spain to learn how to read and write Spanish. She said that she is looking forward to immersing herself in Spanish culture and learning about the country’s history, art, music, and literature.

NU-Q Associate Dean of Research Klaus Schoenbach believes that learning a language contributes to the broad educational experience that NU-Q offers to students because it helps tremendously in understanding a foreign culture better.

For more information on NU-Q’s Language Grants, visit