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Study Abroad for MENA Majors

Can I study abroad as a MENA major?

Yes! One of the best ways to explore and expand your interest in the Middle East and North Africa is to live or study abroad in th region and the major in MENA Studies requires a study abroad experience in the Middle East or North Africa* in order to complete your degree. 

*As of June 1, 2020, and until further notice, the MENA Program is waiving the study/experience abroad requirement for the MENA Studies major. Please write the MENA Studies Director (Rebecca Johnson) with any questions about this Covid-19 temporary waiver.

Student Perspective

Emma Blau, WCAS (MENA) & Bienen '20

"Studying abroad has changed the vector of my Northwestern Direction. For six months I lived in Tel Aviv and I am grateful to be able to express the cliche that I grew from my study abroad experience honestly. It has reinvigorated my sense of learning. Each city is a different world. Although Israel is tiny it is extremely diverse in the experience it has to offer, from Tel Aviv to the Kibbutzim to Jerusalem to Haifa each city has its own dynamics. It is amazing the complexities that can be had in such a small country."

When can I study abroad as a MENA major or minor?

You can begin exploring possible study abroad options as early as your first year. The major requires a study abroad experience in the Middle East or North Africa, which may be fulfilled by completing a summer language institute in the region, summer research, or via a study abroad program during the academic year.   

Summer: Northwestern is not affiliated with any MENA programs during the Summer term; however, there are options to study abroad on unaffiliated programs for academic credit or participate in non-credit bearing opportunities in the region.

What classes can I take abroad?

MENA students are able to take a wide variety of courses abroad, including language, content, and regionally specific classes. You are strongly encouraged to seek advising from a MENA adviser prior to departure in order to understand the program's policy on transferring course credit and to receive help in the selection of courses abroad.

Read more about academic planning and choosing courses abroad.

What type of credit can I get from study abroad?

Courses must be chosen from an approved list or in consultation with Prof, Henri Lauziere, Director of Undergraduate Studies for the MENA Program, or Bianca Jimenez, Senior Associate Director of the Center for International and Area Studies.

In addition, your Weinberg adviser can help you identify if a distribution requirement could be fulfilled abroad and your GLO adviser can help you identify programs that offer these types of credit.

For more information about transferring credit from study abroad, see the MENA Studies Program page. 

Suggested Programs for MENA Majors and minors

Interested in other programs in the MENA region or non-major credit? Search for more study abroad options.

Next Steps

Unsure where to start? Check out the Get Started page for some helpful next steps. We also encourage you to meet with your MENA adviser to discuss your academic course plan and with a GLO adviser to learn more about the programs you're considering.