Duke in Tunisia



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At the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Tunisia’s rich history and varied ecosystems make it a particularly fascinating location to study the close ties between foodways, culture, and identity, and the ways in which cultural sustainability and environmental sustainability are intertwined. While Arabic is the official language in Tunisia, because of the colonial past that ties it to France French remains an important language of communication and education. As students of French, we will explore what it means to live and engage the community around us in a multilingual country.

Experiential learning forms the heart of this program. While we will be based in Sidi Bou Saïd, the beautiful artists’ blue and white village that is on the outskirts of the vibrant capital of Tunis, our explorations will take us from the homes of Amazigh (Berber) families in the Atlas Mountains and a night in the Sahara to the Mediterranean islands and coast and include a week of hands-on work on food, culture, and environment on the islands of Kerkennah.



Location: Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

Term: Summer 1

Dates: May 16 - June 27, 2023

Application Deadline: Extended to February 15th

Academic Theme(s): French language, economics, art, and culture

Credit Type: Duke Credit 

Eligibility: Pre-requisite: French 203 OR SAT II score of 590-630 OR AP language score of 4

Duke Affiliation: Department of Romance Studies

Housing: Homestays and hotels

Primary Contact: Laura Florand

  • Duke in Tunisia

  • Duke in Tunisia

  • Duke in Tunisia

  • Duke in Tunisia

  • Duke in Tunisia


The Duke in Tunisia program offers two credits. Students must enroll in both.

Advanced Intermediate French Language: Culture, Society, Sustainability: Focus on Tunisia

This advanced intermediate French course focuses on developing more sophisticated interpersonal, interpretive, presentational, and intercultural communication skills, in the context of Tunisian society and culture and the ways in which its history and contemporary issues are tightly linked to questions of sustainability. As the summer program progresses, you will develop skills in interpreting artistic, literary, and scholarly works as you review grammar and vocabulary and learn to express yourself and understand others in increasingly complex and abstract ways. What particular challenges do Tunisians face as they forge a path after the Jasmine Revolution of 2011? How are questions of economic inequity, geographical access to resources, women’s rights, tourism, colonial history, and a pride and assertion of cultural heritage linked to questions of sustainability? Through a strong emphasis on experiential learning--including self-guided exploration and reflection, guided site visits, and work with local artists, artisans, scientists, sociologists, activists, farmers, and Tunisians involved in hospitality and tourism—you will increase your transcultural awareness and your understanding of the ways in which the global and the local intersect in questions of sustainability.

Pre-requisites: French 203 at Duke, or SAT II score of 590-630, or an AP Language Test score of 4.

Manger: Food and Food Systems in the French-speaking World: Focus on Tunisia

In this course, we will explore the ways in which Tunisians conceive their relationship with food and what that reflects of their regional and national cultures and personal identities, reflecting in turn on what our own relationships with food show about us. We will study Tunisian cuisine and culinary traditions and the ways these traditions center communities as well as the influence of French and Italian culinary styles. We will investigate the societal and economic influences that determine access to and the production of food, as well as the effect that current systems of food production have on issues of immigration, equity, and environment. Through experiential learning around Tunisia and our exploration of narratives and art as well as scholarly and journalistic articles and historical documents, we will seek to better understand what it means to “manger” in Tunisia and what that can teach us about our own relationships with food in the world today.

Pre-requisites: Students must be simultaneously enrolled in FR204A. Prior to joining the program, they must have completed FR203 at Duke or received an SAT II score of 590-630, or an AP Language Test score of 4.


On the ground experience is essential to this program, and as such it includes a rich variety of excursions. This summer’s planned excursions include:

The Médina of Tunis
Nestled in the heart of downtown Tunis, the Médina of Tunis, also called “the Old City”, will welcome us in its unique paved streets and will offer us an exceptional historic experience: we will discover some of the oldest mosques, mausoleums, and palaces in Tunisia, along with its vibrant artisans’ shops and exquisite traditional restaurants.

The ruins of Carthage, Dougga, and the Amphitheater of El Jem

The Duke in Tunisia program will include visits of three essential archeological sites: the City of Carthage, the Roman site of Dougga and the Amphitheater of El Jem. These historic tours will introduce us to the richness of the ancient Carthaginian civilization (9th century BC) and its complex relationship with the Roman empire.

Kerkennah Islands

This one-week excursion will take place in Kerkennah Islands (a group of islands lying off the east coast of Tunisia). This trip will offer us a deep immersion in the North African islanders’ lives and introduce us to new forms of knowledge: from traditional fishing techniques and embroidery workshops to sustainable food ways etc. This visit will be a peaceful retreat including sunset cruises, star gazing and astrophotography lessons.

The Atlas Mountains, the Ksar Ghilane oasis, and the Sahara

This excursion will take us into the Atlas Mountains in the south of Tunisia, where we will see ancient Berber ruins, learn weaving from the Amazigh women of today, explore the Amazigh (Berber) influence on Tunisian cuisine, and venture into the Sahara to spend a night at an oasis, with a campfire and music in the dunes. The ancient city of Kairouan: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the oldest and most important mosques in the Muslim world. Nabeul, Bizerte, Hammemet: These beachside towns are an essential part of Tunisian summer culture, a country where summer memories often focus on the sea. Day trips will allow us to take part in workshops with artists and artisans working to sustain themselves through their culture as well as explore the history of these Mediterranean towns.


Students will be housed either individually or in pairs with French-speaking Tunisian families in Sidi Bou Saïd and La Marsa, an elegant seaside suburb of Tunis that immediately borders Sidi Bou Saïd.


Laura Florand

Senior Lecturer of Romance Studies

Alayne Wood

GEO Program Coordinator / Advisor


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

Summer 2023

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $5410 $5410
Program Fee $7400 $7400
Transcript Fee N/A $120.00
Other Costs TBD TBD
TOTAL (Estimated) $TBD $TBD

Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

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.


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: TBD
Departure: TBD


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.


Deadline: Extended to February 15th

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.

Priority: Priority is given to applicants who apply early and meet the prerequisites.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke students: Non-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.


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:

  • Online application
  • Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended
  • Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
  • One academic letter of recommendation, preferably from a language professor noting your linguistic and academic abilities. If you have not taken a language course at Duke, please request a letter from a Duke professor who knows you well. Letters from high school teachers will not be accepted

*First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate on this program One academic letter of recommendation from a professor of French

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