Summer Course: Learn & Serve in Tunisia


Program Description

AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs in Tunisia are currently suspended. Please check back for updates on the program or contact with any questions. Learn & Serve in Tunisia is a unique summer education abroad opportunity for undergraduate students to study in the Middle East/North Africa region and engage in intense service learning experiences with Tunisian students. The program includes a study component on Tunisian culture and society, a service learning component as native speaker resource persons in an English language immersion program for Tunisian high school students and a volunteer component with disabled Tunisian students. Since its creation, the Tunisia Learn & Serve program has offered AMIDEAST students a wide variety of service opportunities. Learn & Serve students will spend the summer learning about this unique country as well as working with local students in association with AMIDEAST local staff. In addition, students will have the opportunity to improve their Arabic and experience life in a Tunisian home while staying with a host family for a portion of the program.

Academic Information

Students enrolled in the Learn & Serve program take two academic courses (3 credits each): Tunisian Society and Culture and Tunisian Arabic. Both courses are intensive during the first two weeks and continuing on a less intensive basis throughout the remaining three weeks. This program includes lectures, seminars, and site visits based in Tunis. During the first portion of the program, classes take place at the AMIDEAST Tunis office in the Les Jardins district of the city, a short commute from the host family students will stay with while in Tunis. During the service portion, classes will take place in Tunis and Rimmel/Bizerte, less than an hour north of Tunis. Students enrolled in Learn & Serve take two academic courses - Tunisian Society and Culture: Locating Tunisia and either Colloquial Tunisian Arabic I, II or III (depending on previous background in Arabic).

  • Tunisian Society and Culture: Locating Tunisia (Anthropology 320; 3 credits)
  • ARAB 161: Colloquial Tunisian Arabic I (Arabic 161; 3 credits)
  • ARAB 261: Colloquial Tunisian Arabic II (Arabic 261; 3 credits)
  • ARAB 361: Colloquial Tunisian Arabic III (Arabic 361; 3 credits)

Other Program Information

Orientation Upon arrival in Tunis, Learn & Serve program students participate in a one-and- a half day orientation designed as an introduction to Tunisian culture and daily life and the logistics of the program. The orientation combines structured informational sessions with organized activities. Topics such as safety and health, family life in Tunisia, cultural adjustment, program regulations, participant responsibilities and other essential information are all discussed during orientation. An essential part of the orientation is the beginning of Tunisian Arabic classes. Service Portion During the service portion of the program, students will spend time in both Tunis and Rimell (near Bizerte, northwest of Tunis). Students will travel to the Rimmel/Bizerte area on two separate occasions: once to volunteer at a day-camp for disabled students and again to volunteer at an overnight camp with Acess students. The disabled students will come together at the Centre de Jeunesse in Rimmel from a variety of special schools around Tunisia. The English Access Microscholarship Program (Access) is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Buereau of Education and Cultural Affairs and administered in Tunisia by AMIDEAST. In general, this program provides a foundation of English language skills to talented 13-20 year-olds from economically disadvantaged sectors through after-school classes and intensive sessions. Access gives participants English skills that may lead to better jobs and educational prospects. Participants also gain the ability to compete for and participate in future exchanges and study in the United States. Since its inception in 2004, approximately 95,000 students in more than 85 countries have participated in the Access Program. AMIDEAST Learn & Serve students will work with Access students during an intensive English language program in Tunis as well as at an overnight camp in the Bizerte area northwest of Tunis. During this English-language intensive program for Tunisian high-school students, Learn & Serve students will assist with English tutoring and conversational activities. Accommodation and Meals Tunis: During the first two weeks of the program and during the fourth week of the program, students will live with a Tunisian host family, partnered with one other AMIDEAST student. Host families will provide students with three meals per day. Rimmel/Bizerte: While volunteering in the Rimmel/Bizerte area of Tunisia, students will live at the Centre de Jeunesse camp and all meals will be provided. Excursions Students visit major points of interest in day trips Tunis. These include the site of ancient Carthage; the village of Sidi Bou Said overlooking the Gulf of Tunis; the old city of Tunis, known simply as the Medina; the Bardo Museum, famous for its Punic objects and Roman mosaics; and the American World War II War Cemetery. Evenings are mostly free and students can spend time on their own exploring downtown Tunis, the medina, and the seaside suburbs. There will also be a four-day road trip to the Sahara Desert, reaching as far as the oasis of Ksar el Ghilaine, where students spend the night in tents and ride camels to a small Roman fort. The trip includes stops at Kairouan, the capital of early Islam in North Africa; Sbeitla, a large Roman site at the edge of the Empire and location of important battles between Byzantine and Arab forces in the 600s; the big oasis at Tozeur, known for its dates; Douz, a small town where the Sahara begins; the hilltop and troglodyte villages in the southern Berber-speaking region which inspired the Star Wars films; and Djerba, where an age-old Jewish community lives side by side with Tunisia’s outpost of the Islamic Ibadi sect. Health & Safety With AMIDEAST’s more than 60-year presence in the Middle East and North Africa, AMIDEAST Education Abroad Programs are able to draw on AMIDEAST’s long-term experience in the region, strong local connections, and deep understanding of the intercultural, health, safety, and security issues inherent to study in the Arab world. As part of the program fee, AMIDEAST provides medical and accident insurance for all students through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). In addition to medical insurance, AMIDEAST education abroad students are provided with security and natural disaster evacuation services through CISI. AMIDEAST has also contracted with an intelligence provider to assist with monitoring, protecting against, and responding to security issues in the region. The AMIDEAST Advantage Guided by an Academic Consortium that represents a cross-section of U.S. higher education, AMIDEAST programs are designed to provide academic excellence. AMIDEAST programs also include ample opportunities to interact with local university students and to reflect on intercultural encounters in structured settings.

Program Management

AMIDEAST- Education in Tunisia The program is managed by AMIDEAST/Tunisia in conjunction with AMIDEAST headquarters in Washington, D.C. AMIDEAST works collaboratively with the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research & Technology to oversee implementation of the program. It also manages all logistical elements of the program, including the on-site orientation during the Learn portion of the program, arrangements for excursions, and the planning of special events and extra-curricular activities. Finally, AMIDEAST provides comprehensive support to both participants and administrators in the event of any problems or unusual circumstances. Please click here to learn more about our staff in Washington D.C. and the Middle East and North Africa. What is AMIDEAST? America-Mideast Educational and Training Services, Inc. (AMIDEAST) was founded in 1951. It has more than 20 field offices in 12 countries in the region, giving it a well-developed infrastructure, capacity, and institutional record of successful exchange programs rooted in more than five decades of in-region experience administering scholarships and exchanges on behalf of U.S. and Arab governments, private companies, and individuals. AMIDEAST in Tunisia beyond Education Abroad Since 1976, AMIDEAST has been providing quality educational services in Tunisia. With offices in Tunis and Sousse, AMIDEAST reaches thousands of students and professionals annually through English language courses, academic advising, standardized testing, an American library and cultural center (“American Corner”) and cultural exchange programs. AMIDEAST/Tunisia has designed and administered numerous programs for youth, undergraduates, and educators, and has arranged homestays, transportation, excursions, community service, language training, professional meetings, and lectures for many groups of American students and educators.

Cost & Fees

Tuition and fees for this program will be posted once AMIDEAST chooses to resume programs in Tunisia. Tuition and fees include:

  • Pre-departure preparation
  • All courses
  • All-inclusive on-site orientation
  • Housing
  • Program-organized excursions
  • Medical insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation, and political and natural disaster evacuation coverage (students are covered for the duration of the program)
  • AMIDEAST Grade Report
  • Program supplied mobile phone for use in the host country (usage charges not included)

Tuition and Fees do NOT cover:

  • International airfare
  • Local personal transportation
  • Communication and other personal expenses
  • Books
  • Some meals
  • Insurance for student travel prior to or following the official dates of the program
  • Visa
  • Medical expenses (including visits to doctors, medical tests, and medications). AMIDEAST recommends students have direct access (e.g. via a debit card or cash) to at least $300 to pay for any necessary medical expenses while abroad. Should a student expect to see medical professional(s) for on-going physical or mental health issues while abroad, he/she may want to consider bringing more than $300 for this purpose. Information outlining insurance coverage and the reimbursement process is provided on the AMIDEAST Student Portal after acceptance.
Last updated Nov 2017

About the School

dtykstkyAMIDEAST is a leading American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. Today AMIDEAST programs and ... Read More

dtykstkyAMIDEAST is a leading American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. Today AMIDEAST programs and services touch the lives of half a million individuals a year – improving educational opportunities and quality, strengthening local institutions, and developing language and professional skills critical for success in the global economy. Read less
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