Program Overview

Spend January watching American diplomacy at work in seven cities, three countries, and two continents. Discover the vibrant diversity between France, Belgium, and Morocco while attending embassy briefings and academic lectures by scholars and resident experts. Each program destination will share its own unique culture and story through the sights, sounds, language, food, and most importantly, discussions with local U.S. diplomats. You’ll enjoy a guided city tour at each destination, an insider’s peek into each embassy, and a visit to the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. Gain course credit in political science, peace studies, or international relations as you explore the economic, environmental, and security challenges connected with diplomacy.

GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
January: October 1
Avg Course Load
1 course (3 credits)
Language(s) of Instruction

Key Program Highlights

  • Course credits in political science, peace studies, or international relations
  • World-renowned lecturers
  • Unique multi-country program lets you learn and travel
  • Excellent on-site support
  • Opportunity to study at the forefront of American diplomacy

Your Journey Begins Here

  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Life in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Casablanca, Rabat, Tangiers, Paris and Brussels

Welcome and Orientation

This engaging travel-based January study abroad program begins with a comprehensive orientation. We’ll cover local topics such as culture and language, as well as rules, regulations, guidelines, and expectations of the program in general. You’ll also have the chance to get to know your fellow students and the program professor/program leader. As this program will allow you to visit some high-profile governmental institutions, we’ll set expectations on how to behave in certain sensitive places and contexts.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

While your academic and personal growth will likely continue long after the program ends, we’ll make sure you’re ready to return home. We’ll prepare you for “reverse culture shock,” symptoms of which commonly include daydreaming, storytelling, and frequent hashing of plans for your next trip overseas. We’ll give you a sense of what to expect when returning home, as well as how to verbalize your experience in a resume and job interview, resources to stay involved in study abroad and a discount for a future program. As a future diplomat, you will only gain from additional overseas experience, so let us know where you’d like to go next!

Housing Options

Housing will be shared rooms with up to four people per room. Students will stay at hotels, hostels, student dorms, and/or homestays in each location. Breakfasts will be included most days.

CISabroad study abroad photo morocco casablanca art

Local Life

  • Glimpse Into Diplomats' Lives: The life of a diplomat is rarely stale! Hear first-hand from American diplomats and political leaders about their experience bridging politics, cultures and, generally, countries. Sometimes glamorous and other times less so, a diplomat's role requires adaptability and well, diplomacy, serving wherever duty takes them. Expect to learn whether the life of an overseas diplomat is any bit as glamorous it seems, or if the demands of the job sometimes overshadow the novelty of living abroad.
  • Morocco: Geographic, Cultural and Political Crossroads: Straddling Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Morocco provides unique insight into diplomacy in a country not easily labeled. With millennia-old cultures and traditions, a diverse geography, and a wide range of social norms and religious beliefs, Morocco has to be experienced to be understood.
  • Brussels: European Political Hub: Currently considered the de facto "capital" of various European political institutions and other international organizations, Brussels is a natural destination for this program! While contemporary culture is largely influenced by its status as a European political hub, Belgium also enjoys fine cuisine (chocolate and waffles), architecture (spanning all the way back to the Gothic era), and art.

More About Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Casablanca, Rabat, Tangiers, Paris and Brussels

Tour U.S. embassies in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, Casablanca, Rabat, Tangiers, Paris, and Brussels.

Marseille, the second largest city in France, is located along its southern coast. An economic and cultural powerhouse, it's a key point of trade in the Mediterranean. Moreover, it was voted the 2013 European Capital of Culture.

Aix-en-Provence is a picturesque university town located just north of Marseille. Though it may be smaller in size, Aix-en-Provence is brimming with festivals, gorgeous architecture, and winding streets.

Casablanca is not only Morocco's largest city, but also a leading economic center for North Africa. Located along the Atlantic coast, this port city is a key hub for international trade.

Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is considered to be the nation's political center. The king of Morocco's main royal residence is located here, while there are other palaces in cities throughout the country.

Tangiers is located along Morocco's northern coast, near the Strait of Gibraltar. Due to its prime location, the city is a blend of prominent Mediterranean cultures and religions.

Paris is famous for its romantic atmosphere, rich history, and incredible influence on fashion, design, art, cuisine, and culture. This densely populated city is the capital of France and considered a cultural capital internationally.

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and features a blend of French and Flemish heritages. This city boasts a pivotal role in the political scene as both the unofficial home of the European Union and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).


GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 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.

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.

Course Information

Please choose one course of study that you may transfer back to your home university for credit:

Political Science 345: American Diplomacy in Action – U.S. Engagement in the 21st Century

International Relations 345: American Diplomacy in Action – U.S. Engagement in the 21st Century

Cultural Studies 345: American Diplomacy in Action – U.S. Engagement in the 21st Century

The University

IAU College, a not-for-profit institution of higher education, has been operating study abroad programs for US college and university students since 1957. IAU College has received students from more than 700 colleges and universities, with over 20,000 participants over its long history. The oldest and largest American institute in southern France, IAU College has recently expanded program offerings outside of France to compare and contrast the languages, cultures, landscapes, and contemporary issues within and between broader European and African locations and contexts.

With operation bases in both the US and France, as well as staff and faculty who travel to and research throughout much of Europe and Africa, IAU College's programs offer a unique cross-cultural perspective. While proud of their French foundation, IAU College are equally enthusiastic about their multi-disciplinary and comparative multi-country study abroad programs. Through intensive study, travel, and reflection, IAU College's thematic traveling programs allow students to gain leaps and bounds personally, academically, socially, and culturally. IAU College continually strives to deliver on its mission of providing "an international education that inspires intercultural awareness and prepares students for responsible roles in a global community through the study of European and Mediterranean history, languages, cultures, and contemporary issues."

CISabroad is proud to collaborate with IAU College to offer this unique "traveling seminar" or travel-study program.

Accreditation(s): IAU College (formerly the Institute for American Universities) holds an Absolute Charter awarded by the Regents of the State University of New York, is registered with the French Ministry of Education and recognized by the Recteur of the Université d’Aix-Marseille.

Student Feedback

The best part of a J-term program is that it is packed into 3 weeks. The places we visited were rich in culture and religion, details that I would miss if I visited on my own. If I had the opportunity, I would definitely go again.

Lakshmi N. - Saint Josephs University

Program Support

Meet Our Staff

Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.

Robust Advising Center

Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.

Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators

Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.

Experienced On-site Staff

From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.

Ongoing Support

Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.

Your Support Staff

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • January 2018
    Application Deadline
    Oct 1
    January 2 (Estimated)
    January 15 (Estimated)
    $5,390 (Estimated)

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

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

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
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program