Study and find schools in Tunisia
Tunisia, long considered an oasis of peace and stability in a chaotic region, is in many respects an ideal place to study. This small country combines a rich history, diverse culture, and several excellent and highly reputable universities where students from other countries can study for a summer, a semester, a full year, or even longer. Tunisia is a meeting place of African, Mediterranean, and Middle Eastern cultures, and this diverse heritage is reflected in its society and in its educational offerings.
One of the main reasons for coming to Tunisia to study is for a language immersion. Tunisians can speak both French and Arabic readily, so either of these languages can be studied actively in Tunisia. Although the local dialect of Arabic is noticeably different from the standard Arabic (fusHa) taught in universities around the world, Modern Standard Arabic is also spoken, particularly in the media. Many students enjoy the educational challenge of learning to understand and speak Tunisian colloquial Arabic, which is a blend of Arabic, French, and several native North African (Berber) languages. Due to Tunisia’s past as a French colony, the French language is also used in daily life throughout the country. Nearly all citizens are fluent in both French and Arabic, but a much smaller percentage speak English. Studying one of the two national languages before arriving in Tunisia is a good idea, as this will greatly enhance your experience.
Tunisia has one of the best education systems in the region, as a result of consistent hard work and effort over the last several decades. The Tunisian government has for many years declared education to be its top priority, and more the 20 percent of the national budget is spent on schools and colleges. In the MENA (Middle East / North Africa) region, Tunisia is ranked second in education, just after Jordan. Since the 2011 revolution, there is little indication that the new democratic government of Tunisia will reverse or alter these policies, although it may help to extend educational opportunities into the rural southern parts of the country where such opportunities have been lacking.
Tunisia is also an excellent place to learn about Middle East and North African politics and current events, both for Middle East Studies majors and for people who are simply interested in the subject. Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring, the wave of uprisings that have gripped the region since January of 2011, and to date it is the greatest success story the Arab Spring has produced. After decades of fearful oppression under the Ben ‘Ali regime, Tunisians have set up a nascent democracy, and the recent Tunisian elections have been hailed as fair and free, a model for other Arab countries seeking to throw off reviled dictatorships. Although some instability lingers (as is always the case after a revolution), Tunisia is a perfectly safe place to live, and the inspiring sight of people striving to build a new government in the wake of tyranny is reason enough to go to Tunisia within the next few years.