What are the requirements for successfully studying Near and Middle Eastern Studies?
-- Interest and talent for learning languages;
-- the willingness to come to understand and analyze foreign cultures including travelling and (if possible: extended) stays in the region, in particular to improve your knowledge of the obligatory languages;
-- discipline, stamina, assiduity and the willingness to prepare course work and language classes at home;
-- the capacity to work on one's own;
-- a good knowledge of English and French since secondary literature (which will be read from the first term onwards) can to a large extent be only consulted in languages other than German.
Avoiding wrong preconceptions about Near and Middle Eastern Studies
Studying Near and Middle Eastern Studies will neither help you delve into a romantic "Oriental world" nor should you expect to become an expert concerning the "clash of civilizations".
Although the Bachelor is labelled "Islamwissenschaft" ("Islamic Studies") and thus obviously the aspect of religion is stressed, theological aspects are of lesser importance. To begin with, a strong basis in the obligatory languages has to be laid and substantial knowledge of general Islamic history to be acquired.
Do not expect that at the end of your studies (even not at the end of the Master) you will be versatile in all fields of Near and Middle Eastern Studies. During your studies you should already strive to find fields of particular interest and concern (such as concentrating during the Master studies on one language). Experience shows that speaking competence in the two obligatory languages will be limited at the end of of your bachelor studies. It is urgently recommended to attend language classes in the Middle East or to stay for extended periods in the region.
Language Courses Abroad
As the study of languages make up an important part of the Near and Middle Eastern Studies, students are highly advised to complete complementary language courses abroad. The list below should help students to facilitate their search for suitable schools in Arab countries and Turkey.