January Europe and Islam: France, Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain

Visit four countries and 12 cities in three weeks. Experience everything from the markets of Morocco to the museums of Madrid on this engaging January Term travel-study program. Focus on European-North African relations as you take a comparative approach to study abroad.

We created this unique program just for you! We know students are having a harder time fitting study abroad into their schedules. So we created this unique January Term study abroad program to allow you to have an amazing experience without falling behind in anything back on campus. 

We’re here to support you - before, during and after. We’ll make sure you have all the right information up front, including how much you should expect to pay on-site, put you in touch with other participants on the program, and prepare you for adjusting to your new home overseas. Once on location, you’ll be supported by a variety of people throughout France, Spain, and Morocco- all seasoned staff that have years of experience engaging students in cultural exchange. When you get back we’ll make sure you have appropriately digested your experience by asking you to reflect. We’ll also be happy to share any resources or help you go abroad again!

We reduce our carbon footprints and erase yours! We reduce, reuse and recycle. We use clean source energy at our office in MA. We offset the carbon produced by all our participants’ flights each year, so don’t feel bad about jet-setting to Europe next January. We’ll plant trees or contribute to clean energy research on your behalf.  

On the January Europe and Islam: France, Morocco, Gibraltar, Spain program, you will visit four countries and 12 cities in three weeks, and see the essential aspects of French, Spanish, and Moroccan culture. You’ll explore with local guides and academic, literary and political experts with a focus on the European-Islamic relationship during this winter term multi-country study abroad program. 

Compare and contrast the cultures and landscapes of many distinct places - You’ll experience a wide range of stimuli: from the bustling markets and mosques of Morocco to the lavender fields of southern France and museums of Madrid. This program will provide you with a range of sights, smells, sounds and tastes that you can’t get anywhere else! Not to mention, you’ll be engaging in cultural discussions the entire time, which will allow you to come away with an enhanced perspective of these cultures and your own.  

Earn credit in your major or take the time to explore your passion - The January Traveling Seminar program offers six different three credit courses in a variety of subjects, so you can choose the course that works best for you. Whether you’re interested in art history, cultural studies, or political science (and ideally at least a little of all of those!), this program has a lot of great stuff in store for you. 

Gibraltar - A British territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar is at the crossroads of two very different worlds. In addition to France, Spain, and Morocco, a visit to Gibraltar is important in understanding the region’s geo-politics even better.

Combine this with a spring semester - Want to get a head start on an incredible spring semester in Aix en Provence? The January Traveling Seminar program leads right into our spring Semester in Aix en Provence program, allowing you to combine the two for more than four months in Europe! Or, choose from any of our other spring semester programs that start after the end of this program. 

In case you needed any more reasons to participate in this incredibly unique winter term study abroad program, here are a few highlights:

  • Winter break program allows you to get ahead academically! 
  • Visit 12 cities in 18 days
  • Study in a variety of subjects with world-renowned lecturers
  • Great support services with English-speaking staff
  • Fun experiential learning using the cities as your classroom 

Since the Traveling Seminar program is a true travel-study course, a great deal of your academics will be mixed with trips around the various locations in which you will be studying. In France, you'll visit Paris, Marseille, and Aix-en-Provence where you can see what attracts so many people to the picturesque South of France. In Morocco, you’ll visit the major cities like Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Rabat before making your way up to Gibraltar and heading on to Spain. In Spain you’ll visit five of the country’s most beautiful and influential locations: Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Toledo and Madrid. 

Possible excursions include:

  • Hotel de Ville 
  • Notre Dame 
  • Lecture with famous Spanish author in exile, Juan Goytisolo
  • Walking Medina Tour
  • City tour of the Hassan II Mosque
  • Tour of top of the Rock
  • Tour to La Mezquita de Córdoba and the Central Cathedral

The January Europe and Islam program is hosted by IAU College. Dr. Carl Jurban, the professor who will be traveling with you throughout the program, is the president of IAU College and has particular expertise in Europe/North African relations. 

The academic component of the program will consist of lectures from leading experts in the fields being explored on the program. Particular attention will be paid to the importance of North African immigration to Europe and its current socio-cultural implications.

GPA Required: 2.5. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

How to choose your courses
Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page. The following instructions will guide you through the steps of choosing your courses.

Course load: 1 course (3 US credits)

Course approval:  Before you go abroad, it is best to get 2-3 classes approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Course descriptions and catalog: 

The following are the approved courses for January 2016:

Art History 395: Classical Islam and the European Renaissance
Cross Cultural Studies 395: Jews, Muslims and Christians in Europe and the Islamic World
French 395: Cultural History of France and the Islamic World
History 395: Cultural History of Europe and the Islamic World
Political Science 395: European Politics and the Islamic World
Spanish 395: Cultural History of Spain and the Islamic World


For details or syllabi, please contact your designated CISabroad staff or a study abroad advisor

Helpful information
You will be notified of what courses you are registered for approximately a month before the beginning of your program.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging. 

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

This program was created with the comparative experience in mind. You’ll spend time in about 12 cities during the program, spanning a wide range of religious, historic and cultural contexts. Expect to see and do things that provide genuine insight into the place you’re visiting. Here’s a rough outline of the places you'll visit:

  • Paris: 3 nights
  • Aix-en-Provence: 1 night
  • Marseille: day trip
  • Marrakesh: 2 nights
  • Rabat: 2 nights
  • Casablanca: day trip
  • Algeciras: 1 night
  • Gibraltar: day trip
  • Sevilla: 2 nights
  • Cordoba: day trip
  • Granada: 2 nights

IAU College, the academic host of this program, administers this program with assistance from local guides and academics. IAU College in Aix-en-Provence is one of the premier academic centers in Europe, with a strong emphasis on immersion in French language and culture. IAU College’s academic and cultural foundations shine brightly through the January Traveling Seminar program, as they bring in experts from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to provide students with the greatest insight into each location they visit. 

This program is largely travel-based, meaning most of the time you’ll stick to the itinerary, which offers a blend of academic, social, cultural and recreational activities. The limited free time can be spent exploring your host city with other participants. Please do not make any travel or academic arrangements until you've received a confirmed itinerary from your CISabroad program coordinator.

Following is the itinerary for 2016-2017:

Dec. 27, Paris
Depart US for Paris

Dec. 28, Arrive in Paris
Lecture, orientation, city tour 

Dec. 29, Paris
Institut de Monde Arabe

Dec. 30, Paris
Embassy Visit
Group Dinner 

Dec. 31, Aix-en-Provence
Depart TGV for Aix

Jan. 1, Aix-en-Provence
Walkabout City Tour

Jan. 2, Aix-en-Provence
City Tour of Marseille & Notre Dame de la Garde
Flight to Marrakesh 

Jan. 3, Marrakesh
City Tour
Evening Lecture with Goytisolo

Jan. 4, Marrakesh
Visit Ourika Valley

Jan. 5, Marrakesh
Day Trip to Casablanca
Arrive to Rabat 

Jan. 6, Rabat
City tour of Rabat

Jan. 7, Rabat to Assila
Travel to Assila
Hydrofoil from Tangiers to Algeciras 

Jan. 8, Seville
City Tour of Gibraltar
Travel to Seville

Jan. 9, Seville
City Tour

Jan. 10, Seville
Mosque of Cordoba
Travel to Granada 

Jan. 11, Granada
Visit to Alhambra

Jan. 12, Madrid
Depart for Madrid
City Tour 

Jan. 13, Madrid
Day Trip to Toledo 

Jan. 14, Madrid
Final Exam
Farewell Dinner

Jan. 15, Conclude in Madrid
Depart Madrid according to individual schedules

Throughout the program, you’ll stay in 3 and 4 star hotels and hostels in rooms shared with other program participants. You’ll be provided with breakfast each day and dinner most nights. 

While traveling throughout France, Spain, Morocco, and Gibraltar, you’ll be supported by a variety of staff. The program’s Resident Director and faculty that will traveling with the program the whole time is Dr. Carl Jurban, President of IAU College. Dr. Jurban has particular expertise in European-North African relations. 

1. What is the cost of program tuition? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for the January Europe and Islam program can be found here.

2. When are the program fees due?

Program fees for January Europe and Islam are due on November 1st. If you have any questions about tuition deadlines, please contact an advisor at info@cisabroad.com.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

1. The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

2. After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms. 

3. The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

4. Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program-specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program-specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. For application deadline, please check here or contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

Yes, you WILL need a passport to travel to France, Spain, Gibraltar, and Morocco. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For the January in France, Spain, and Morocco program, visas are NOT required.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes. The GPA requirement for the January Europe and Islam program is 2.5, but sometimes a lower GPA is accepted. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact a CISabroad Advisor" button on this page or call us at 1-877-617-9090 to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you!

6. What are my housing options?

For the January Europe and Islam program, you will stay in 3- and 4-star hotel rooms shared with fellow program participants. Additionally, you will be provided with breakfast everday and dinner on most nights.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For January Europe and Islam, a student will take one course offering and receive 3 U.S. credits. For more information on course options, go here

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Term: January 2017
Arrival December 28
Departure January 15
Application Deadline October 1
Term: January 2017 Price: $5,390

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Housing and some meals
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • CISabroad support before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • On-site orientation
  • All program-related travel (except round-trip airfare from the US)
  • IAU College official transcript
  • Carbon offset of travel 

CISabroad  reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.