Duke in the Arab World



Apply Now

On this program you’ll spend four weeks in Morocco and two weeks in Egypt. In Morocco, you will be residing in the city of Fez with excursions to the cities of Rabat, Meknes and Marrakesh. The historic medina of Fez is one of the world's few remaining medieval cities and is considered Morocco’s cultural and spiritual capital—a must visit for any student of Arabic and Islamic studies. The metropolitan capital city of Rabat is one of the Arab world’s most modern cities. Located on the northwest Atlantic coast, Rabat has the second largest population in the country. 

Egypt is often called the mother of the world due to its rich history, the Pyramids and its Eternal Nile. 

It is also the most populous country in the Middle East, and has remained a vital component for security and peace in the region. 

Through partnerships with AUC and other entities, we will explore the history of Cairo, its institutions, cultural societies and civil society groups. Excursions to the Pyramids, Alexandria, the Old Cairo, the Nile etc.. are part of the program. 

Throughout the program, you’ll explore not only the sociopolitical development and intricacies of the Arab world, but also gain real life experiences through observation, field visits, and interaction with local scholars, students, and homestay families in Morocco and collaboration with the American University in Cairo, in Egypt. The program exposes you to aspects of continuity and changes, commonalities and differences—all while creating opportunities to develop your Arabic language skills and cross-cultural competencies related to Morocco.


Location: Fez, Morocco and Cairo, Egypt

Term: Summer I

Dates: May 14- June 25, 2024

Application Deadline: Extended to February 15

Academic Theme(s): Religious Studies, Language & Culture, Political Science

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Open to all majors. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply. Previous study of Arabic not required.

Duke Affiliation: Co-sponsored by Duke’s Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) and Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy

Housing: Homestay Families

Primary Contact: Mbaye Lo

  • Duke in Arab World 2023

  • Discussion with local Moroccan students

  • Sahara desert camel ride excursion

  • Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

  • Duke in Arab World 2023 students in front of The International Academic Center of Safi and Aesthetic Studies

  • Excursion to the Sahara Desert

  • Duke in the Arab World 2023

  • Rabat Language Center

  • Local market


All students will enroll in two courses: the signature course on religion, security and citizenship, and the Arabic language instruction, each offering one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted for either course. 

Both courses are designed to maximize your understanding and exposure to a diverse yet connected human experience in the Arab world. As part of this intensive educational experience, you’ll interview Moroccan students in selected universities and centers. 

AMES 326A / RELIGION 371A / POLSCI 395A / ICS 362A / PUBPOL 339A   
Religion, Security, and Global Citizenship in the Arab World  
(CZ, CCI, EI) 1.0 Course Credit

Only offered on the Duke in the Arab World program.

This course will examine how individuals, states, and Arab societies are embodied in the global system of the 21st century. Students will examine how the major Abrahamic traditions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—had their historical origins in the eastern Mediterranean and continue to coexist, albeit with tensions, with modern notions of citizenship. Students will also explore how the rise of extremist movements and the Arab uprising have challenged conceptions of state citizenship and impacted the regional and international security environment. Course taught in English.

Dardashaat Arabiyyah: Arabic Language and Culture of Morocco

(CCI, CZ, FL) 1.0 Course Credit

This course facilitates full immersion in Arabic of Morocco within a cultural context; students will develop basic communicative skills through emphasis on all four language skills beyond the elementary level; through daily instructions, home-stay, field-visits, reading short-stories, and interviewing citizens, students will acquire a strong understanding of society and culture; students will explore cultural institutions and entertainment outlets in both countries and examine commonalities and differences between the two societies.


Program participants enjoy a full complement of excursions, both day trips and extended trips, all included in the cost of the program. We’ll take a 3-day trip to the desert, and we’ll tour the cities of Meknes, Irfan, Marrakech, and Shifshawn. Cooking, calligraphic, and music classes will also be included. While in Cairo, participants will go on excursions to the pyramids, Alexandria, Old Cairo, and the Nile.


In Fez and Rabat, Morocco, you will be placed into carefully selected homestays with Moroccan families. Homestay families will provide two meals per day for the duration of the program.

Other student housing options such as a residence hall are available upon request for special housing arrangements.


These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

Summer 2024

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $5,680 $5,680
Program Fee $4,200 $4,200
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs See Cost Sheet See Cost Sheet
TOTAL (Estimated) $13,455 $13,575


Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.


This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:


Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

  • Arrival: May 14
  • Departure: June 25


You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above, which usually means departing the U.S. one day prior. Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyExperientialEd to update your travel registry.

Housing Before/After

You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.




U.S. citizens are not required to have a visa for travel to Morocco, but will pay $25 for a single entry visitor visa to Egypt.

Non-U.S. citizens—Pay special attention to the visa requirements for your specific citizenship by contacting your country’s embassy. GEO can provide a letter that may be required as part of the visa application process. Please begin the visa process as soon as you have been admitted to the program to ensure you receive your visa in time for the program start date.


All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.


The Duke in the Arab World program director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the Global Education Office.

Mbaye Lo

Associate Professor of the Practice of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Miriam Cooke

Braxton Craven Distinguished Professor Emerita of Arab Cultures

Bruce Lawrence

Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Religion

Amy Bowes

GEO Associate Director


Deadline: Extended to February 15

This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

PriorityPriority is given to applicants who apply early.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke studentsNon-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.

Physical Requirements

Before applying to this program, you should assess and determine if you are physically or emotionally able to participate in the following physical demands required by some of this program’s activities:

  • Walking approximately a mile in a day, sometimes for two or more days in a row, sometimes on hilly, uneven, or cobbled terrain
  • Climbing and descending stairs
  • Using public transportation, including sometimes crowded buses or trains
  • Standing during tours and site visits
  • Entering into older buildings with narrow and sometimes steep staircases, at times with limited or no access to elevators
  • The possibility of warm/hot temperatures while residing in locations without air conditioning

If you have questions or are concerned about these or any other program activities, please contact the Duke Office of Global Health and Safety (oghs@duke.edu)


Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd:

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate


Learning Beyond Labels

"I plan to take my observations of being in these countries to contribute a different perspective in my ongoing studies of the Arab World and the Middle East at school."

Read More

Ahmed in Morocco: Time Well Spent!

“I got interested in the program because of its academic focus on Public Policy and Arabic, which, at the time, were both of my prospective majors."

Read More

On a Camel, Kinda Nervous: Bailey's Arab World Journey

"As I return to Duke, the memories of my desert journey will serve as motivation for me to try new classes, meet new people, and join new organizations. To anyone considering studying abroad, go for it. Especially if it makes you a little nervous."

Read More

Smashing Watermelons, Smashing Politics on Duke in the Arab World

"Every meal has been accompanied by some of the most intriguing political conversations I’ve ever had. Sure, the language barriers have kept the conversation from getting very conceptual or abstract, but this actually seems to be a positive thing. It is much more tangible."

Read More