Language of Instruction in Kuwait

Most of the schools in Kuwait are public schools, where the medium of instruction is Arabic. However, English, especially British English, has been assigned as a primary and/or secondary school subject here. Students have to go through twelve years of schooling before they can enter university. Schools dedicate four to seven forty-five minute periods per week to English language instruction. The medium of instruction at post-secondary institutions in the Gulf region is generally English, despite the fact that it is used only in certain departments. In this region, the culturally specific subjects such as Shari’a, Islamic studies, arts, humanities, social sciences, and education are generally taught in Arabic. And it is for the “universally-oriented” subjects which are commercially based trades and the applied sciences that English is often the language of instruction.

The private schools in Kuwait are divided almost equally between Arabic medium schools, following Kuwait’s national curriculum, and foreign language schools, following other curricula (the Indian Central Board of Secondary Education, British, American, and French Systems). These private international schools that cater to the international community in Kuwait offer education in a combination of languages. But it is also necessary as per the rule in the country all students in the international schools are to study Arabic. Therefore, most of these schools offer different classes for both native speakers as well as Arabic as a foreign language.

Although Arabic is the main language of instruction for primary and secondary schools, English is often the language of education in universities. Except for the public institutions like the Kuwait University where Arabic is the primary medium of instruction, private higher education institutions generally use English as the mode of instruction. Even then, at the Kuwait University, engineering, medicine, allied health and sciences, are taught in English.

Academic Year

Kuwait University

First Semester

The academic year for Kuwait University begins from the month of September. The first week of the month of September is the time when the faculty staff members start work, and the classes begin from the second week of September. Final examination including the unified examinations for the first semester commences during mid-December and extends till the end of December. The first two weeks in January are scheduled for first semester’s vacation.

Second Semester
The second semester begins in the third week of January, when the work for the faculty members begins. Classes commence from the last week. The second week of May is the time when the final examination including the unified examinations for the second semester commences. The time period for the examinations is two weeks. The vacation for second semester begins in the last week of May and extends till the end of August after which the university opens for the new academic year.

Summer Course

Other than the usual academic courses there is also the summer course followed in the Kuwait University, which follows a duration of three months. Classes for the summer course begin in the last week of May and extend till the second week of July, after which the final examinations including the unified examinations commences. The duration of the examinations is a few days. Finally, the summer semester’s vacation begins in the third week of July and extends till the end of August.

Timeline for academic year (Kuwait University)


(First Semester: classes commence)
(Final exams and vacations for first semester)

(Second Semester: classes commence)
(Final exams and vacations for second semester)

Timeline for Summer Course


(Summer Course: classes commence)
(Final exams and beginning of summer semester’s vacation)

General Timeline for academic year (Private Universities in Kuwait)


(Fall semester begins)
(Winter break and Final exams for fall semester)
(Spring semester begins)
(Final exams and semester break)

Timeline for Undergraduate Summer Course


(Summer full semester courses begin)
(Final exams for Summer Full semester courses)

Schools in Kuwait

The academic year for schools in Kuwait usually run from September to June; however, the actual term dates differ from school to school. Schools stay open from Saturday to Wednesday between 07:30 to 14:00 hours.
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