Trade the winter blues for the Mediterranean sun and sea on our January Europe and Islam program. Study regional culture and politics as you experience the vibrant diversity of two continents, four countries, and twelve cities. This program is more than your typical study abroad experience, offering you a unique lens to compare and contrast multiple countries, religions, cultures, food, and landscapes. You’ll explore the European-Islamic relationship with local guides and academic, literary, and political experts. Come away with an enhanced perspective that you wouldn’t typically receive as a tourist. The program offers several courses in a variety of subjects, allowing you to choose the one that works best for you.
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
2017: October 1
- Avg Course Load
- 1 course (3 US credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
Key Program Highlights
- Chance to visit four countries and twelve cities in just 18 days
- Variety of subjects with world-renowned lecturers
- Guided travels for deep insight
- Explore Europe and Africa through a whole new lens
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 Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Rabat, Seville, Granada, Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba and Gibraltar
Welcome and Orientation
This whirlwind of a January “traveling seminar” study abroad program allows for the perfect blend of guided activities, field courses and independent study and free time during our exploration of some amazing and diverse locations. With everybody gathered in Paris, we’ll start 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. Because the program will keep you moving from one location to another, program leaders and local guides will introduce you to your ever-changing surroundings, providing a “lay of the land” in the form of lectures and city tours.
Farewell and Re-entry Program
Adios! Au revoir! After an eye-opening and intensive travel-study program, it may be hard to bid adieu to your new friends and all the places and people you’ve come across. You’ll enjoy one final meal together to reflect on all that you’ve seen and done, exchange contact details, and thank your professor and program leader. Keep reflecting, keep in touch with those on your program, and let us know how we can provide you with outlets to keep re-living your formative experience abroad. Our preferred outlet: go again! (You’ll get a discount for doing so!) We’ll share tips about how to verbalize your experience in things like job interviews so you can capitalize on your profoundly transformative study abroad experience.
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.
- Vibrant Markets in Morocco: Expect a bit of a sensory overload in the vibrant, traditional markets of Morocco! A long-standing institutions in the Arab world, markets are a place of gathering, socializing, trading and selling - a great place to observe cultural norms. Wind your way through a labyrinth of unique sights, sounds, and smells, with goods ranging from local textiles to electronics and everything in between.
- Spain: The Last Moorish Outpost in Europe: While the Moors were pushed out of mainland Europe through the Iberian Peninsula over 500 years ago, their legacy lives on in the form of elaborate mosques like that of Cordoba, the impressive fortress of Alhambra, and the royal palace, or Alcazar, in Seville. Moorish and more contemporary Arabic and Islamic influences in Spain include language (many words that start with "al" such as "almohada" or "pillow"), cuisine, and ethnic makeup.
- French-North African Overlaps Abound: As a former colonizer of northern Africa, France's influence in language, food, and culture is abundant in Morocco. It is perhaps partially due to the shared heritage that many North Africans seek refuge and economic opportunities in France, resulting in increasing diversity in French communities.
More About Paris, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Rabat, Seville, Granada, Madrid, Toledo, Córdoba and Gibraltar
Explore Europe and Africa on this life-changing trip. Paris brings you a romantic atmosphere, rich history, and incredible influence on fashion, design, art, cuisine, and culture. From Paris, you'll visit Aix-en-Provence, a picturesque university town brimming with festivals, gorgeous architecture, and winding streets. Continue on to Marseille, the second largest city in France located along its southern coast. An economic and cultural powerhouse, Marseille is a key point of trade in the Mediterranean.
North Africa beckons, with a stop in Marrakesh, a lively city with sprawling marketplaces located near the Atlas Mountains. With Saharan trade routes nearby, the city has cultural influences from the mountain Berber people and Sub-Saharan Africa. From Marrakesh, you'll travel to beautiful Casablanca. Morocco's largest city, Casablanca is also a leading economic center for North Africa. Dive deeper into Moroccan culture in Rabat, the country's capital. Rabat is considered to be the nation's political center, and it's home to the king of Morocco's main royal residence.
Head to Spain with a stop in Seville, a city with Roman heritage blended with Muslim and Spanish influence. Visit Granada, located at the bottom of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and home to the Alhambra, one of the most well-known Adalusian palaces. Zip over to Spain's capital of Madrid for the country's best of everything. Central Spain awaits as you explore Toledo, which is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Two more stops await in Spain: Córdoba and Gibraltar, both cities near the Mediterranean with fascinating history and architecture.
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.
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 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.
You will be notified of what courses you are registered for approximately a month before the beginning of your program.
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.
Lakshmi N. - Saint Josephs University
Program SupportMeet 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.
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
Global Advising Team
Program Coordinator - Costa Rica, Ghana, Greece, January Multi Country, Czech Republic, and South Africa
Site Director in London
Application DeadlineOct 1ArrivalDecember 28 (Estimated)DepartureJanuary 15 (Estimated)PRICE$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.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:
- Breakfast daily and most dinners
- Travel between destinations
- Housing in locations
- In France: head to Paris, Marseille, and Aix-en-Provence
- In Morocco: visit Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Rabat
- Spend some time in Gibraltar
- In Spain: go to Seville, Madrid, Toledo, Cordoba, Granada
- Conclude with a trip to Toledo, Spain
- IAU college official transcript
- Tuition and fees
- 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)
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program