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Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Study Abroad - North African Studies: Politics, Religion, and Culture in Morocco, Tunisia & France

France • Morocco • Tunisia 

December 29, 2020 - January 15, 2021

The North African Studies Traveling Seminar is designed for students interested in learning about the major issues multi-ethnic, predominantly Islamic, and developing countries contend with, and the region's history with and continued connection to France. The Seminar will expose students to diverse and sometimes opposed views to these major issues. During the three-week seminar students will visit six cities and will attend daily lectures and meetings with distinguished scholars and practitioners in regards to culture, human rights, politics, and economic development.

There is a strong social service component to this seminar, as students will visit NGO's and meet with creative ordinary citizens who are striving to invent solutions to their most vexing problems such as fighting poverty and providing education to their children.


Students can choose one of the following courses:

  • Religion 345: Religious Radicalism: North Africa as a Case Study
  • Religion 355: Judaism in Islamic Land
  • Religion 365: Understanding Islam
  • History 355: Islam and the West: A Historical Perspective
  • History 365: History and Politics of North Africa
  • Political Science 365: History and Politics of North Africa
  • Sociology 365: Human Rights in North Africa

The 2021 syllabus will be available soon! View the 2020 syllabus here. Details are subject to change.


IAU is sensitive to the ever-changing landscape of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. We plan to continue to run our J-Term programs and have created alternative options for each program so that we are ready to pivot should travel restrictions and health guidelines not allow for the original program itineraries to run. Below, you will see the Itinerary A (original itinerary) and Itinerary B (modified itinerary) plans for this J-Term seminar. Students should keep in mind that these two possibilities exist for this J-Term program. We aim to decide on one itinerary no later than October 15. We appreciate your patience and flexibility.

Itinerary A

  • France: Paris
  • Morocco: Marrakesh, Casablanca, Rabat
  • Tunisia: Tunis

View details of Itinerary A here. Please note, the schedule is tentative and subject to change.

Itinerary B

  • Morocco: Tangier

Details of Itinerary B will be available soon!

General Travel Advisory

This trip is a serious one, both academically and culturally. Students are expected to be prepared for intellectual, linguistic, social, and travel challenges. We are traveling as a team, and each member must be prepared, punctual, cautious, and professional. Trip leaders have extensive experience in Tunisia, where the security situation has stabilized and tourism is growing. Team leaders closely monitor the security environment and sensitive areas are avoided. With those important caveats, the trip promises to be an incredible experience, including both fun and adventure.

About the Professor

Aboubakr Jamaï, Dean and Professor, School of Business & International Relations
MPA, Harvard University
MBA, University of Oxford 

Professor Jamaï‘s professional career spans the business sectors of finance, economics, and journalism.  He began teaching at IAU in January 2014 and became Dean of the School of Business and International Relations shortly thereafter.  He has taught political science and international journalism at American institutions of higher education. Among the many prizes and distinctions he has received, Professor Jamaï was named Harvard University’s Nieman Fellow in 2007 and Mason Fellow in 2008.  He was also awarded the 2008 Tully Center Free Speech Prize, Newhouse School of Communication, Syracuse University, and the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. His work in favor of democracy in the Middle East was recognized by the Washington-based Project On Middle East Democracy which awarded him their Leaders for Democracy prize in 2016.

Program Fees

January 2021: $5,845

Please note, the program fee is the same for both Itinerary A and Itinerary B.

Program fees include tuition for 3 credits, lodging, insurance, entrance fees to all museums and guest lecture venues, intra-program transportation between each city and for all program-related excursions, daily breakfast and some group meals.

Students who enroll in a January Term Seminar and the spring semester in Aix-en-Provence or Barcelona consecutively are eligible to receive a $2,000 grant credited to their spring semester invoice. In order to be eligible to receive the grant, students must participate in the Early Start Program during the week between the end of the January Term Seminar and the start of the spring semester. The Early Start Program allows students to move in with their hosts a week before the semester begins, receive French or Spanish language instruction, and participate in local cultural activities! Visit IAU's Scholarship website for additional details.