Tunisia may be the smallest country in Northern Africa, but it’s packed full of culture and history that will enrich your study abroad experience. Once home to Berber tribes, the Carthaginians, Roman soldiers, and French colonizers, Tunisia is the perfect place to relive the development of the modern world.
Each of these influences have helped to create a richly diverse culture that features the best of Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. During your semester or year in Tunisia you’ll attend dance festivals, marvel at ancient art in the country’s museums, and indulge in couscous and fresh seafood.
Tunisia has been home to many diverse people throughout time, and this rich location is the perfect spot for your study abroad adventure. Read on for more important information that will help you prepare to study in Tunisia.
Tunis: Tunis is the capital and largest city of Tunisia. Situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it offers a stunning combination of traditional architecture and modern, French-inspired structures. Visitors to Tunis can explore food, pottery, and spices at the many covered street markets, called souks. Tunis is a cultural center with a vibrant fine art and theater culture. The city also has many universities and libraries, making it a great study abroad destination.
Sfax: This port city is the perfect spot to study abroad if you want to immerse yourself in the everyday life of Tunisia. The city acts as Tunisia’s center for industry, agriculture, and fishing. The University of Sfax offers high-caliber courses in medicine, literature, science, and many other disciplines.
Planning Your Trip
How to Choose a Program
There are many factors to consider before choosing your specific study abroad program. Consider your personal, academic, and social priorities so that you can find a program that suits your needs.
Education in Tunisia has many French influences, but has also developed enormously in recent years. There are a variety of universities across the country, and the Tunisian government allocates a large portion of its budget for educational purposes. In the past ten years, enrollment in Tunisian universities has tripled, creating a vibrant academic culture.
Arabic is the official language of Tunisia. However, French is also widely spoken, especially in business and education. This is a great location to study if you’re hoping to improve your French but want a more exotic locale than France.
Many students studying in Tunisia live in apartments with other students. This is a great opportunity to exercise your independence and make friends. Other students choose to live in a dorm or homestay, which can help you learn about the culture of the country.
Social Life and Student Culture
Tunisian culture features many traditions that you will experience during your time there. Traditional Tunisian crafts, including pottery and ironwork, have developed over thousands of years within each village. There is also a wide assortment of oral narratives and traditional music. Family life is also very important in Tunisia, and you will experience this if choose to live in a homestay.
Students visiting Tunisia should be sure to visit these important destinations!
- Bardo National Museum: This museum, located in a thirteenth century palace, contains an enormous collection of ancient Roman mosaics and pieces from Greek antiquity.
- The Carthaginian Ruins: This historical site outside of Tunis is the perfect place to learn about Tunisian history, including the powerful rule of Carthage and invasion by the Roman empire.
- Zitouna Mosque: This mosque was built in 732 AD and is the oldest mosque in Tunis. It has historically served as a center for learning and contains an extensive library of ancient manuscripts.