Language Schools in Sana'a/ General Situation
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jul 17, 2012 6:12 PM Last Post By: mongolnomad
May 11, 2012 7:46 AM
Language Schools in Sana'a/ General SituationDear all,
Does anybody maybe know if Arabic language schools (especially CALES) in Sana'a are open at the moment?
Would also be very grateful to receive any information, if the general safety situation in Sana'a has somehow approved in the last 3/4 weeks compared to the already posted threads.
May 14, 2012 11:29 AM
1As for the security situation, we've just came back from 2 weeks on Socotra. We visited Sana'a twice for a few hours between flights to and from Socotra. On arrival in Sanaa our passports were collected by a strange guy, maybe from the Interior or Secret service, who was speaking no English! He asked us if we have a travel agent to pick us up. We told him in simple Arabic we don't have anyone, that we just want to spend the night in the hotel and then go back to the airport.
On the first visit we slept in Arabia Felix hotel. Few other tourists were sleeping there as well. My impression was that the city, which you can access, is safe. In Hasaba district there were visible traces of heavy fighting, Yemenia building has been heavily destroyed, only the frame remains of it. You can see car wrecks all around the city, especially in Hasaba.
The Old city seemed untouched by the fighting. You can spot few tourists there. The tourist shops with silver were open, which might serve as some indicator that tourism might be on the rise from the nil, at least in Sana'a (and Socotra). I'd assume there was about 10-20 regular tourists in the whole city, more that I'd expected. The life of Yemeni people is going as before the revolution, but you can see that the economic situation has worsened, people are poorer, life is harder for many of them, which is mirrored in a fact that quat is very cheap, cheaper than before. After the recent strike of dustmen, there are still heaps of rubbish on every second corner. All the time, there was a blackout, so the generators were running in front of each shops and the air was horrible.
During our short stay we haven't had any incident with local people.
May 15, 2012 10:54 AM
May 16, 2012 11:08 PM
3All language schools are officially "open" even during the worst fighting, whether they had any students or not is another story. CALES is open with a few students. Saba Insitute is also open. Email them and inquire about visa procedures. Good luck.
May 17, 2012 7:25 AM
4Thank you for all your input. I think I'll try to get a visa through the school and hopefully be in Sana'a by the beginning of July.
May 18, 2012 12:16 AM
5I'd second what BohdanR said, YIAL is a great option and very reasonable as far as costs go.
I'm currently in Sana'a studying at YIAL while I intern with a company here. Sana'a is fairly safe, but then I suppose it just depends on your definition of safe. There are many displaced soldiers who have nothing to do but chew qhat all day. AK-47's and drugs may not mix well, I do hear gunfire occasionally.
CALES is open, at least part time. I know someone who as of two days ago was studying there part time.
The hardest thing for you will be getting a visa, most schools can't help you with a visa because of the reputation they get from instances like the Saudi double agent/Al Qaeda bomb plot. My advice would be to try and do it through a tourist agency, it's not impossible just difficult.
May 18, 2012 3:17 AM
May 18, 2012 5:45 AM
7I don't know for sure...the rumors I've heard were that it was Saba, but again that's just a rumor.
I got my visa through the company I'm interning with here, honestly I'd rather not say what company because I don't want them to be overloaded with requests for help with a visa.
YIAL cannot obtain visas for students (I've spoken to the director about it.) I really don't think any language program can. CALES told me they could but I don't think that's still true. At any rate I would highly recommend a tourist agency to get you here, I think that would be your best bet.
Are you American? if you're from Europe or elsewhere getting a visa will be easier. Americans are not looked upon as kindly since the drone strikes. I'm an American but I tell people I'm Canadian...it helps a little.
May 26, 2012 4:09 AM
Thanks a lot for your input. It is very helpful. I am actually from Germany, but the visa procedure is quite difficult considering that the Yemeni embassy told me to get the visa/invitation from the language school. Now, after what you are telling me I have some concerns bearing in mind that Cales' new director also told me that they will be able to arrange for the visa, but require quite a sum as advance payment (down payment for classes + visa fee) through Western Union. I am now somehow afraid to transfer the amount and to end up without a visa and no cash. But, maybe I'll give it a try through the embassy again or just send Cales the required sum.
May 28, 2012 2:55 AM
9The language school can and should give you the invitation. If CALES says they can arrange the whole thing, I'd let them. When I was talking to CALES before I came here I think the situation was different, it can change any day.
I've met the director of CALES and he seemed to be a really great guy, I'd trust him if I was in your position.
I wouldn't give up on it, Sana'a is a pretty cool place.
May 28, 2012 10:59 AM
Thanks once more for your kind feedback. It's very much appreciated. See you in Sana'a insha'allah.
Jul 17, 2012 6:12 PM
Do update us on how it goes if you decided to study in Sana'a. I am thinking of going there myself and any extra info from someone in the same boat would be of great help. Thanks.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$44.60 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night